XMM-Newton UV image of supernova in spiral galaxy M100
XMM-Newton image of X-ray light from the galaxy M100
Scientists have found that a star that exploded in 1979 is as bright today in X-ray light as it was when it was discovered years ago, a surprise finding because such objects usually fade significantly after only a few months.
Using ESA’s XMM-Newton space observatory, a team of astronomers has discovered that this supernova, called SN 1979C, shows no sign of fading. The scientists can document a unique history of the star, both before and after the explosion, by studying rings of light left over from the blast, similar to counting rings in a tree trunk.
“This 25-year-old candle in the night has allowed us to study aspects of a star explosion never before seen in such detail,” said Dr Stefan Immler, leader of the team, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, USA. “All the important information that usually fades away in a couple of months is still there.”
Norbert Schartel | EurekAlert!
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