Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University of Toronto astronomer part of team that finds new way to study supernovae

09.07.2009
An international team of astronomers has found a better way to examine the origins and evolution of galaxies that form following supernova explosions – the starting point for the formation of galaxies when a star explodes – and they have discovered new supernovae in the process.

“We’ve devised a technique to discover supernova explosions at greater distances than previously known,” says team member Ray Carlberg of U of T’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. “The most distant one occurred during the time when galaxies were at their peak phase of star formation activity, approximately 10 billion years ago, twice the age of Earth.”

The ultra-distant supernovae were discovered in images acquired as part of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey. “Our trick was to add together six months of images to create a very deep image of the sky,” says Carlberg. “This allows us to look for objects that changed in brightness over a long period of time,” says Carlberg of their ability to measure the changing intensity of light emitted by cosmic debris following a supernova explosion.

“The specific type of supernovae we discovered have bright light emission lines even after the original explosion has faded away, “says Carlberg. “This emission is a result of the supernova explosion colliding with unusually dense gas around the exploding star. Future studies of the line intensities will reveal the ongoing development of the explosion and give information about the chemical composition of the gas at this early time.”

The discovery opens a new avenue to study the details of how galaxies and their components evolve with time. “During a supernova explosion, virtually all of the elements heavier than oxygen – calcium, silicon, iron, all the way to up uranium – are produced,” says Carlberg. “These metals, along with the tremendous blast of energy they release into the surrounding gas, make supernovae of great interest for studying the build up of the galaxy and its component stars, and even the rocky planets like our own.”

A report on the discovery appears in the July 9 issue of Nature. In addition to Carlberg, a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, contributors to the study included Jeff Cooke, Elizabeth J. Barton, James S. Bullock and Erik Tollerud of the University of California, Irvine, Mark Sullivan of the University of Oxford, and Avishay Gal-Yam Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Funding was provided by the Gary McCue Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Centre for Cosmology at the University of California, Irvine, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Royal Society.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Ray Carlberg
Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
University of Toronto
carlberg@astro.utoronto.ca
416-978-2198
Sean Bettam
Communications, Faculty of Arts & Science
University of Toronto
416-946-7950
s.bettam@utoronto.ca

Ray Carlberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

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: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

25.09.2017 | Trade Fair News

Highest-energy cosmic rays have extragalactic origin

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>