Articles about supernova


Blast from the past: Boffins find the fastest exploding non-supernova star

Eta Carinae is one the strangest star systems in space. When it exploded in the 19th century, it became the second brightest star in the sky. Now, scientists studying "light echoes" have found that it was also the fastest non-fatal outburst of any star system. The blast spewed clouds of material at 10,000 to 20,000 kilometers …
CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array

Astroboffins 'sprinkle iron filings' over remnant supernova

How to measure a magnetic field that's very long way away, and is very, very weak. An international group of boffins have announced that they figured out how. The magnetic field in question belongs to a distant supernova remnant, Supernova 1987A, 168,000 light years from Earth. While the supernova exploded in 1987, its …

Astronomers find bizarre 'zombie supernova' that just won't die

Astrophysicists have discovered one of the weirdest stars yet in the universe: one that refuses to die, exploding as a supernova multiple times over fifty years. Normally when large stars reach the end of their lives they terminally explode as a supernova with a burst of bright light and matter and that is that. But the …
NASA's exploding star illustration

Baby supernova spotted, just three hours old and a real cutie

In the kind of observational serendipity that astro-boffins live for: spotting the explosion of a supernova mere hours after the explosion's light started reaching Earth. The catch, made in 2013 by the venerable Samuel Oschin 48-inch telescope as part of the Palomar Transient Factory Survey, is the “youngest” supernova …

Remember that brightest supernova ever seen? It wasn't one

Last year, astronomers spotted what looked like a massive supernova, 200 times brighter than any seen before. Use of the Hubble and Swift orbital telescopes as well as observatories here on Earth to make a close analysis of the event, dubbed ASASSN-15lh, indicates that the flash in the sky might not have been a supernova at …
Iain Thomson, 12 Dec 2016

Supernova bubble clocked at 19,000,000 km/h

Astronomers have produced a fetching animation of the inexorable outwards expansion of the remains of the Tycho Type Ia supernova - a white dwarf in a binary star system which went bang in spectacular fashion back in 1572. The explosion was so bright it was visible from Earth during the day, even at a distance of some 10,000 …
Lester Haines, 13 May 2016
NASA's exploding star illustration

Champagne supernova in the sky: Shockwaves seen breaking star

The Kepler space telescope is best known for its planet-hunting prowess, but in a paper just accepted by the Astrophysical Journal it's racked up another first: sighting a shockwave ripping a star apart as it goes supernova. Called by boffins the “shock breakout”, the shockwave is the “bounce” that happens when the star …

Boffins baffled by record-smashing supernova that shouldn't exist

Supernovae are nothing new in the universe, but scientists have spotted the largest yet seen, some 200 times as bright as anything recorded previously. The explosion – dubbed ASASSN-15lh after the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae telescopes in Chile that first found the big bang in June last year – was 570 billion times …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jan 2016
Black hole

Ginormous HIDDEN BLACK HOLES flood the universe – boffins

Pics NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) X-Ray telescope has observed a cluster of massive black holes that were hidden from Earth's view by interstellar dust clouds. Crucially, the findings indicate that there many more holes dotted around the universe than first thought. The black hole spotted by Durham …
Iain Thomson, 7 Jul 2015

Ancient SUPERNOVA EXPLOSION contains enough dust for 7,000 EARTHS, say boffins

Boffins believe that supernovae can produce enough dusty material to make thousands of Earths. An international team of scientists analysed the data from SOFIA – a NASA and German Aerospace Center's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy project – which had taken images of a dust cloud. "This discovery is a special …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Mar 2015
Gravity lens makes supernova appear four times

Massive gravitational lens flare unveils EINSTEIN CROSS SUPERNOVA

Vid “That's odd” must be a scientist's favourite phrase: a set of images of a distant supernova has shown off a phenomenon first predicted more than 50 years ago in 1964. The supernova was spotted in Hubble images by Dr Patrick Kelly of Berkeley while searching for distant galaxies – and because of the effect of gravitational …
When white dwarf stars collide

Boffin the boffin and his boffinry pals in double dwarf super-prang alert

Pics A boffin called Boffin and other scientists at the European Southern Observatory say they have spotted an astronomical first: two doomed white dwarf stars that will likely spark a supernova when they collide. The puny pair, in the planetary nebula* Henize 2-428, will crash into each other in about 700 million years, we're told …
Iain Thomson, 9 Feb 2015
Eagle Nebula in 2015

Hubble 'scope snaps ENORMO SPACE ERECTION: Pillars of Creation 20 years on

Pics Nearly 20 years ago, the Hubble space telescope took one of its most iconic pictures – the Pillars of Creation. Now a new image has been taken, showing how the star nursery has changed in the last two decades. Eagle Nebula comparison What a difference a couple of decades makes (click to enlarge) The image, presented at …
Iain Thomson, 7 Jan 2015
Zombies, credit: Wikimedia from Night of The Living Dead

True fact: Hubble telescope spots ZOMBIES in SPACE

Researchers operating the Hubble telescope have observed an unusual supernova explosion that leaves behind what scientists call a "zombie star". NASA said a team of astronomers had used the giant orbital telescope to capture images of a star system that, despite going supernova, produces surviving dwarf stars rather than …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Aug 2014

Cosmic dust riddle breakthrough: Study tackles stuff of the universe

Astronomers have long wondered where all the strange dust that hangs about in space originates. They're also interested in how all the cosmic dust clouds form despite all the solar flares, supernovas and other potentially dust-blasting events. A new study that was published in Nature this week may provide some answers. The …
The glowing remains of Cassiopeia A

Doomed Cassiopeia star was sloshed just before deadly supernova blast

Vid The NuSTAR X-ray space telescope has shown the star Cassiopeia A, one of our most recent nearby supernova, was sloshing and bubbling before its final explosive collapse. The glowing remains of Cassiopeia A The glowing remains of Cassiopeia A Scientists have been focusing on Cassiopeia A (Cas A), which is one of the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Feb 2014
Astrophysical Journal Letters

'New' nova starts to BLUSH

In early December, astroboffins got all excited when they spotted a 'new' nova visible with the naked eye. Nova Centauri 2013, as it was called, was only visible to folks in the southern hemisphere, but was bright enough that handheld cameras were able to spot the star. As expected, the star became progressively brighter, …

KILO-MACH SONIC BOOM probed in fireball embers of 1572AD SUPERNOVA

Many thousands of years ago, far away in the constellation Cassiopeia, a white dwarf star blew up with cataclysmic violence. Much, much later, in the year 1572 when good Queen Bess was on the throne, the light of the supernova reached Earth. Now, astronomers probing the vast cloud of slowly cooling gases left behind say they …
Lewis Page, 26 Nov 2013

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