Tag Archives: type Ia supernovae

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…)

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Closest Type Ia Supernova in Decades Solves a Cosmic Mystery

*Early close-ups of a Type Ia supernova allow Berkeley Lab scientists and their colleagues to picture its progenitor and infer how it exploded

Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia’s) are the extraordinarily bright and remarkably similar “standard candles” astronomers use to measure cosmic growth, a technique that in 1998 led to the discovery of dark energy – and 13 years later to a Nobel Prize, “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe.” The light from thousands of SN Ia’s has been studied, but until now their physics – how they detonate and what the star systems that produce them actually look like before they explode – has been educated guesswork. (more…)

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