|Pinwheel Galaxy's SN2011FE supernova causes stir|
Brian Vastag, Washington Post
Monday, September 5, 2011
Twenty-one million years ago in the Pinwheel Galaxy - an elegant, spiral-armed neighbor of our own Milky Way - an old, dim star had a very bad day. It exploded and began to blaze like a billion suns.
On Aug. 24, Peter Nugent had a very good day. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory astrophysicist was about to grab lunch when he checked to see if a robotic telescope had spied anything of interest the night before. Bingo. Boom. Supernova.
And not just any supernova. Every night, astronomers spot several exploding stars across the universe. But this one was so close - in cosmic terms - and seen so soon after its light reached Earth that astronomers are calling it the supernova of a generation.
An automated sky survey that searches for new nighttime objects with a telescope at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County first flagged the supernova.
Soon, telescopes around the world - and beyond, including the Hubble Space Telescope - swiveled to take a peek.
"This is a special event," said Ken Sembach of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. "Everyone wants a piece of it."
Nugent said the blaze will continue to brighten until Wednesday or Thursday, visible just above the handle of the Big Dipper to backyard astronomers wielding binoculars.
The last supernova to generate such buzz flared into view in 1972. Before that, a 1937 explosion caught everyone's attention.
Three hours after Nugent's discovery, the Grand Canary Telescope off the coast of Africa - where the sun had just set - took a look. The jackpot grew bigger when that scope's data poured in. The Pinwheel supernova - technically known as SN2011FE - was a Type 1a, of special interest to astronomers.
Type 1a's all blaze with nearly the same brightness. That makes them the perfect yardsticks for measuring cosmic distances. Their apparent brightness tells us how far away they are.
In the 1990s, Robert Kirshner, a veteran Harvard University supernova hunter, led a team that leveraged this property to make one of the biggest discoveries of the past century: The universe is flying apart, rapidly accelerating.
To explain this, cosmologists were forced into an uncomfortable conclusion. Either gravity does not work the way it is supposed to, or a mysterious force is pushing galaxies apart at a quickening pace. They called this unknown force "dark energy" and still have little idea what it is, even though they are able to calculate that it constitutes an astounding 73 percent of all mass and energy in the universe.
Cosmologists hope the new supernova will help refine estimates of the universe's acceleration. The data might even hint at the nature of dark energy.
|Notice||How to write your comments onto a webpage ||2016.07.07||운영자||2016.11.20||617|
|Notice||How to Upload Pictures in webpages||2016.07.07||운영자||2018.10.19||894|
|Notice||How to use Rich Text Editor ||2016.06.28||운영자||2018.10.19||866|
|Notice||How to Write a Webpage ||2016.06.28||운영자||2018.10.19||470|
|58||極小와 極大의 세계 ||2011.03.02||Rover||2011.03.02||7092|
|57||[re] Alien Life Exists / Andrew Couts (Part 2/2) ||2011.03.06||운영자||2011.03.06||3744|
|56||[re] Alien Life Exists / Andrew Couts (Part 1/2)||2011.03.06||운영자||2011.03.06||5966|
|55||Alien Life Exists / Andrew Couts ||2011.03.05||이한중*65||2011.03.05||3232|
|54||기다려지는 봄의 향기 - 사랑의 비밀/블레이크 ||2011.03.13||이기우*71문리대||2011.03.13||6524|
|53||For Discovery, a farewell spin ||2011.03.19||이기우*71문리대||2011.03.19||3836|
|52||Hanger 에서 liftoff 까지의 우주선의 발사과정||2011.04.11||Rover||2011.04.11||10127|
|51||Blind Drivers Hit The Road, due to Dr. Hong ||2011.06.06||이기우*71문리대||2011.06.06||7437|
|50||Massive Supernova Exploded in Pinwheel Galaxy||2011.09.05||운영자||2011.09.05||2691|
|»||Astronomical X-mas in September ? - New Supernova !! ||2011.09.05||운영자||2011.09.05||4649|
|48||Our Solar System: A Photo Tour ||2011.09.30||운영자||2011.09.30||4429|
|47||11년만의 개기월식 ||2011.12.11||황규정*65||2011.12.11||5953|
|46||[Medical] A molecular marker can make tumors light up in neon green ||2012.02.27||김영철*61||2012.02.27||5062|
|45||Super Moon tonight !! ||2012.05.05||운영자||2012.05.05||3054|
|44||Revival of 30,000-year-old plant ||2012.05.13||Rover||2012.05.13||3831|
|43||The Fallacy (?) of Wine Tasting ||2012.06.18||Rover||2012.06.18||2518|
|42||DNA's Trap for Investors: A Race to the Bottom ||2012.07.20||운영자||2012.07.20||2182|
|41||NASA rover Curiosity makes historic Mars landing ||2012.08.06||운영자||2012.08.06||1999|
|40||Universe, through the ESA Herschel Space Telescope||2012.08.06||운영자||2012.08.06||4316|
|39||Birds-of-Paradise - Cornell Lab of Ornithology ||2012.12.23||운영자||2012.12.23||3411|