Tag Archives: supernovae

Supernovae bombardierten die Erde mit radioaktiven Staub

Senckenberg-Wissenschaftler haben gemeinsam mit einem internationalen Team Belege für mehrere Supernovae in der jüngeren Erdgeschichte gefunden. Anhand von Eisen-Isotop-Untersuchungen zeigen sie in ihrer heute im renommierten Fachjournal „Nature“ publizierten Studie, dass die Supernovae im Zeitraum von 3,2 bis 1,7 Millionen Jahren vor heute stattfanden. Die Sternenexplosionen ereigneten sich in weniger als 300 Lichtjahren von der Erde entfernt und schleuderten von dort radioaktiven Staub ins Universum – einen großen biologischen Schaden durch das kosmische Bombardement der Erde schließen die Wissenschaftler aber aus. Auffällig ist jedoch der Absturz des Weltklimas in die letzten Vereisungsphasen  der Erdgeschichte in diesem 1,5 Millionen Jahre andauernden Zeitabschnitt. (more…)

Read More

“Assassin” Targets Supernovae in Our Neighborhood of the Universe

Project’s success spawns a new effort to study other local sky events

SEATTLE — While many astronomical collaborations use powerful telescopes to target individual objects in the distant universe, a new project at The Ohio State University is doing something radically different: using small telescopes to study a growing portion of the nearby universe all at once. (more…)

Read More

Cosmic detectives discover missing star in ultimate of dead ends

Astronomers have solved a 21-year-old cosmic mystery with the discovery of a star whose companion exploded, confirming that the surviving star was partly responsible for the resulting supernova. A team of 12 scientists, including the University of Chicago’s Vikram Dwarkadas, recently published the discovery in the Astrophysical Journal. (more…)

Read More

Astronomers Pin Down Origins of “Mile Markers” for Expansion of Universe

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A study using a unique new instrument on the world’s largest optical telescope has revealed the likely origins of especially bright supernovae that astronomers use as easy-to-spot “mile markers” to measure the expansion and acceleration of the universe.

In a paper to appear in the Astrophysical Journal, researchers describe observations of recent supernova 2011fe that they captured with the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) using a tool created at Ohio State University: the Multi-Object Double Spectrograph (MODS). (more…)

Read More

Planck All-Sky Images Show Cold Gas and Strange Haze

New images from the Planck mission show previously undiscovered islands of star formation and a mysterious haze of microwave emissions in our Milky Way galaxy. The views give scientists new treasures to mine and take them closer to understanding the secrets of our galaxy.

Planck is a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation. (more…)

Read More

Blowing Up Stars

*For his discoveries about the lives and deaths of stars, the exotic physics of black holes and the origin of chemical elements, UA Regents’ Professor David Arnett has been honored with the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship.*

What happens when a star dies? How does a black hole form? What makes the chemical elements that form the building blocks of stars, planets and living beings?

Those are the kinds of questions that have fascinated David Arnett, a Regents’ Professor at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, from an early age. (more…)

Read More

Berkeley Lab’s Saul Perlmutter wins Nobel Prize in Physics

BERKELEY, CA — Saul Perlmutter, an astrophysicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae.” Perlmutter heads the international Supernova Cosmology Project, which pioneered the methods used to discover the accelerating expansion of the universe, and he has been a leader in studies to determine the nature of dark energy.

Perlmutter shares the prize with Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess, leader of the High-z Supernova Search Team and first author of that team’s analysis, respectively, which led to their almost simultaneous announcement of accelerating expansion. (more…)

Read More

WISE Sees an Explosion of Infrared Light

A circular rainbow appears like a halo around an exploded star in this new view of the IC 443 nebula from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

When massive stars die, they explode in tremendous blasts, called supernovae, which send out shock waves. The shock waves sweep up and heat surrounding gas and dust, creating supernova remnants like the one pictured here. The supernova in IC 443 happened somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. (more…)

Read More