Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stellar explosion displays massive carbon footprint

02.06.2009
While humans are still struggling to get rid of unwanted carbon it appears that the heavens are really rather good at it. New research by astrophysicists at the University of Warwick has discovered that a mystery stellar explosion recorded in 2006 may have marked the unusual death of an equally unusually carbon-rich star.

The strange object known as SCP 06F6 was first noted in 2006 by supernovae researchers in the US taking images with the Hubble Space Telescope, seeing it appearing out of nowhere, and fading again into oblivion, over the course of 120 days. The US team published their observations in September 2008, drawing a blank on the nature of SCP 06F6, in particular it was unclear if this event happened in our cosmic backyard, or at the other end of the universe.

Now a team of astrophysicists and astronomers at the University of Warwick in the UK believe they have come up with an answer. According to their research, the observations of SCP 06F6 bear remarkable resemblance to a group of stars containing extremely large proportions of carbon, hence dubbed carbon stars. However, to achieve the close match, SCP 06F6 must be at a distance of around 2 billion light years, causing a considerable redshift in its appearance. Given the large distance, the sudden appearance of SCP 06F6 is most likely related to the sudden death of a carbon-rich star, and the Warwick team believes that this object may be a new type of a totally new class of supernova.

It would be an unusual type of supernovae in several aspects: SCP 06F6 is located in a blank part of the sky, with no known visible host galaxy. If the star did explode as a normal type II supernova why then did it take up to four times as long to brighten and diminish as other such supernova and why did emit up to 100 times more X-rays energy than expected? The X-ray energy might lead one to speculate that the star was ripped apart by a black hole rather than exploding on its own, but the lead researcher of University of Warwick team Boris Gänsicke says that idea is not without its problems as:

"The lack of any obvious host galaxy for SCP 06F6 would imply either a very low black hole mass (if black holes do exist at the centres of dwarf irregular galaxies) or that the black hole has somehow been ejected from its host galaxy. While neither is impossible this does make the case for disruption by a black hole somewhat contrived"

"Several new telescopes are now being designed and built that will continuously monitor the entire sky for short guest appearances of new stars, and there is no doubt that SCP 06F6 will not remain alone in puzzling astronomers over the coming years. "

Dr Boris Gänsicke | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

nachricht New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot
26.04.2017 | Royal Astronomical Society

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>