Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exploding star in NGC 2397

02.04.2008
The latest image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals a sharp view of the spiral galaxy NGC 2397. This image also shows a rare Hubble view of the late stages of a supernova - SN 2006bc, discovered in March 2006.

NGC 2397, pictured in this image from Hubble, is a classic spiral galaxy with long prominent dust lanes along the edges of its arms, seen as dark patches and streaks silhouetted against the starlight. Hubble’s exquisite resolution allows the study of individual stars in nearby galaxies.

Located nearly 60 million light-years away from Earth, the galaxy NGC 2397 is typical of most spirals, with mostly older, yellow and red stars in its central portion, while star formation continues in the outer, bluer spiral arms. The brightest of these young, blue stars can be seen individually in this high resolution view from the Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).

One atypical feature of this Hubble image is the view of supernova SN 2006bc taken when its brightness was on the decrease. Astronomers from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, led by Professor of Astronomy Stephen J. Smartt, requested the image as part of a long project studying the massive exploding stars — supernovae. Exactly which types of star will explode and the lowest mass of star that can produce a supernova are not known.

When a supernova is discovered in a nearby galaxy the group begins a painstaking search of earlier Hubble images of the same galaxy to locate the star that later exploded; often one of hundreds of millions of stars in the galaxy. This is a little like sifting through days of CCTV footage to find one frame showing a suspect. If the astronomers find a star at the location of the later explosion, they may work out the mass and type of star from its brightness and colour. Only six such stars have been identified before they exploded and the Queen’s team have discovered the nature of five of them.

In their latest work on Hubble images, to be presented at the UK National Astronomy Meeting 2008 in Belfast, the Queen's team reveals the results of their ten-year search for these elusive supernova precursor stars. It appears that stars with masses as low as seven times the mass of the Sun can explode as supernovae. The team have not found any very massive stars that exploded, suggesting that the most massive stars may collapse to form black holes either without producing a supernova or by producing one that is too faint to observe. This intriguing possibility will be discussed at the meeting.

A public lecture at Queen's University Belfast showing how the Hubble Space Telescope has built a bridge between science and art will coincide with a presentation of the latest scientific study of Hubble galaxy images by Queen's astronomers.

The images were obtained on 14 October 2006 with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) through three different colour filters (blue, green and near-infrared).

Lars Lindberg Christensen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/html/heic0808.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

nachricht Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect
24.05.2017 | University of Cologne

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>