Results tagged “Supernova”

Was Kepler's Supernova Unusually Powerful?

In 1604, a new star appeared in the night sky that was much brighter than Jupiter and dimmed over several weeks. This event was witnessed by sky watchers including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler.

Over fifty years ago, a supernova was discovered in M83, a spiral galaxy about 15 million light-years from Earth. Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to make the first detection of X-rays emitted by the debris from this explosion.

A Supernova Cocoon Breakthrough

Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have provided the first X-ray evidence of a supernova shock wave breaking through a cocoon of gas surrounding the star that exploded. This discovery may help astronomers understand why some supernovas are much more powerful than others.

The exploding stars known as Type Ia supernovae serve an important role in measuring the universe, and were used to discover the existence of dark energy. They're bright enough to see across large distances, and similar enough to act as a "standard candle" -- an object of known luminosity.

Remnant of a Supernova

Vital clues about the devastating ends to the lives of massive stars can be found by studying the aftermath of their explosions. In its more than twelve years of science operations, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has studied many of these supernova remnants sprinkled across the galaxy. The latest example of this important investigation is Chandra's new image of the supernova remnant known as G350.1+0.3.

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