Astronomers have put together an image of a recent, nearby exploding star. And, for the first time, have made images of 27 newly-discovered ancient supernova remnants in our galaxy—the remains of stars that ended their lives in huge stellar explosions long ago. Let's explore these fireworks a bit more!
Each Daily Cuppa Go post is like a daily newspaper to enjoy with your favorite cuppa. There's a series of related stories on a theme, and just like a newspaper, you can browse as your time and interests lead you.
Radio Hiss from Exploding Star Reveals Its Final Moments - This 3-minute video illustrates how the quiet hiss of a nearby supernova explosion which occurred in 1987, reveals a glimpse of that doomed star's final moments of life.
Supernova 1987a - NASA webpage devoted to the supernova discussed above. Includes some cool animations showing how the stellar explosion unfolded and its continuing effects.
What Happens When a Star Explodes? - The NASA infographic above shows the different ways stars can explode. Click on the infographic to see it in a larger format for easier reading. There's also this nifty little animation of a Type 1a supernova going Ka-Boom!
Neutron Star - The NASA image above shows a neutron star -- the core of a star that exploded in a massive supernova. This particular neutron star is known as a pulsar because it sends out rotating beams of X-rays that sweep past Earth like lighthouse beacons.
The Birth of a Black Hole - Every second a star somewhere out in the universe explodes as a supernova. But some extremely massive stars start to blow, but instead go out with a whimper instead of a bang. When they do, they can collapse under the crushing tug of gravity and vanish out of sight, only to leave behind a black hole. The doomed star shown in the images above, known as N6946-BH1, was 25 times as massive as our sun. Although it began to brighten weakly in 2009, as seen in the image above, by 2015, it appeared to have winked out of existence. Observations by the Large Binocular Telescope and NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, helped researchers conclude that it had become a black hole. The images show the final stages in the life of a supermassive star that fails to explode as a supernova, but instead implodes to form a black hole.
Outback Telescope Captures Milky Way Centre, Discovers Remnants of Dead Stars - Above are some sample images from the same MWA telescope of recently discovered supernova remnants in our galaxy. Follow the link to learn more about the project and see more images. In addition, the stunning MWA image below shows what our galaxy would look like if human eyes could see radio waves. In the image, the center of the galaxy is at the brightest point, although the actual center--a massive black hole--is invisible.