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What is the difference between a supermodel and a supernova? When the model walks the runway, we can see her garment from all sides. But when a supernova explodes in the universe - we see it from only one point of view: that of the solar system

A simulated color image of Cassiopeia A, combining information from three sources: red - information from the Spitzer Space Observatory, orange - from Hubble, and green and blue - from Chandra
A simulated color image of Cassiopeia A, combining information from three sources: red - information from the Spitzer Space Observatory, orange - from Hubble, and green and blue - from Chandra

What is the difference between a supermodel and a supernova? When the model walks the runway, we can see her garment from all sides. But when a supernova occurs in the universe - an explosion of an unusually powerful star - we see it from only one point of view, that of our solar system. Now an international team of astronomers has found a simple but creative method to get a XNUMXD view of exploding stars, allowing us to examine from multiple angles what they look like.

"Looking in 20D is essential for understanding the physics of the explosion, because it provides important details that are not found in XNUMXD images," says Dr. Carlos Bedens, a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Dr. Avishai Gal-Yam, from the Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics , who was part of the scientific team that conducted the study. The team included more than XNUMX scientists, and was led by astronomer Dr. Armin Rest from Harvard University.

The study focused on a star that exploded in the Cassiopeia group - the big W in the northern sky. As usually happens in explosions of this type, the supernova scattered material at a speed of thousands of kilometers per second in all directions, emitting such a large amount of light that for a time it became the brightest star in the entire Milky Way. Most of this light reached Israel about 330 years ago - that is, on Earth you could see the explosion in about 1680, but the "echoes" of the explosion still reach us today: these are dim light rays that traveled a longer way, because they were returned by clouds of interstellar dust.

Carls Bedens. A new star. Photo: Weizmann Institute
Carls Bedens. A new star. Photo: Weizmann Institute

Such "light echoes" work according to the same principle as the familiar sound echo, but they take longer to reach us, because the distances in the universe are so vast. If we shout in a ravine, the sound waves are reflected from the walls and return to us as an echo within a few seconds. Similarly, the light from the supernova is reflected from the surrounding dust clouds, but the "echo" reaches the Earth several hundred years after the supernova itself has already gone out.

Since the clouds are on different sides of the supernova, the light echoes provide images of the explosion from different angles - like the mirrors in the dressing room that show us what a dress looks like from all directions. In this way, the astronomers can get a XNUMXD view of historical supernovae that exploded hundreds of years ago.

In the current study, the astronomers used another technique: they combined the information from the light echoes with observations of the nebula of material left after the supernova explosion in space. This "supernova remnant", called Cassiopeia A, was studied by telescopes installed on NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

"The use of both techniques - X-ray observation of the supernova remnant and information from the optical telescopes about the light echoes - ensures the best chance of finding out what really happens when a star explodes, just as we learn the most about the heart or the kidneys when we examine them with both X-rays and Ultrasound," says Dr. Bedens, who specializes in the study of supernova remnants.

This is how the scientists discovered that the supernova Cassiopeia A was not symmetrical, and the material thrown from it in all directions does not spread in the form of a round ball. In one of the directions, a propagation speed was measured that was almost 4,000 kilometers per second higher than what was measured in all the other directions.

These findings shed new light on supernova explosions, and help us reach a more complete understanding of these phenomena. If there are other civilizations in the universe, the XNUMXD observation can show us what exploding stars look like to other inhabitants of our galaxy, and even other galaxies.

9 תגובות

  1. And one more thing, Mother Avner:
    It is clear to you that this whole discussion would not have taken place if you had not changed your name to mother in another discussion just to try to make me miserable for no reason.
    In general - the claim that someone has no life outside the site is usually hard to refute - I'm pretty sure if I claimed that about you, you wouldn't be able to prove me wrong.
    Feel free to try.
    I, on the other hand, can do it easily.
    I did this in the same discussion (and you decided to ignore the answer) and I will do it here in a different way:

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=19980813&CC=WO&NR=9835291A1&KC=A1

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=19980526&CC=US&NR=5758125A&KC=A

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20090129&CC=US&NR=2009028092A1&KC=A1

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20080625&CC=KR&NR=20080058363A&KC=A

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20090618&CC=US&NR=2009152932A1&KC=A1

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20030918&CC=WO&NR=03077157A2&KC=A2

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20030220&CC=US&NR=2003037066A1&KC=A1

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20020801&CC=US&NR=2002103804A1&KC=A1

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20030520&CC=US&NR=6567823B1&KC=B1

    http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20010109&CC=US&NR=6173278B1&KC=B1

  2. Mother Avner:
    In response 1 you wrote "It is more complex than what they think"
    In response 2, Aryeh wrote "Avner - why do you think it's more complex than they think"
    In response 3 you wrote "Why do you think I think it's more complex than they think."

    Of course you are not senile.

  3. Mother Avner:
    It turns out that you don't even know what it is to "swear" (or is that also a slur?).
    I don't really care what you think or what you don't.
    You asked a question, I answered, it turns out that the answer doesn't interest you, let it be your perfume.

  4. Dear Rothschild, why do you curse and say that I am senile?
    You moved to manage the science website. You have access to the IP of the writers. You have progressed in life
    The question is whether you have a life outside the site. And it doesn't look like that.
    And regarding your second comment, I know exactly the difference between an enlightenment and a comment, it was a trap for fools.

  5. Mother Avner:
    Come and help you overcome senility.
    Arya knew you think it's more complex than they think because that's what you wrote in the first comment.
    The researchers who dealt with the matter obviously understand it much more than you and they are not planning to do the calculation - they have already done it and considered everything you could think of and a few other things you couldn't.
    They did not present any calculation here. Do you think that means they didn't do any calculations?

    By the way, you should learn the difference between commenting and enlightening, between enlightening and enlightening.

  6. Arya Seter why do you think I think it's more complex than they think.
    The reason I relate simply to what is written in the article
    And not for your thoughts on what the researchers think and do not write down for various reasons.
    The reason for this is simply that I do not know you.
    I'm just shining an objective light.

  7. Avner - why do you think it is more complex than they think; They know like you that the different echoes and the direct observation are all from different times and take this into account.

  8. It is more complicated because the echoes come from older times and thus provide older images from different angles of the explosion. Perhaps a three-dimensional film of the explosion can be put together this way, but it is more complicated than they think.

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