Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















STELLAR CHEMISTRY
A fleeting blue glow
by Staff Writers
Santa Barbara CA (SPX) Aug 16, 2017


Only 55 million lightyears away, this is one of the closest supernovae discovered in recent years.

In the 2009 film "Star Trek," a supernova hurtles through space and obliterates a planet unfortunate enough to be in its path. Fiction, of course, but it turns out the notion is not so farfetched.

Using the nearby Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), astrophysicists from UC Santa Barbara have observed something similar: an exploding star slamming into a nearby companion star. What's more, they detected the fleeting blue glow from the interaction at an unprecedented level of detail. Their observations revealed surprising information about the mysterious companion star, a feat made possible by recent advances in linking telescopes into a robotic network. The team's findings appear in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The identity of this particular companion has been hotly debated for more than 50 years. Prevailing theory over the last few years has held that the supernovae happen when two white dwarfs spiral together and merge. This new study demonstrates that the supernova collided with the companion star that was not a white dwarf. White dwarf stars are the dead cores of what used to be normal stars like the sun.

"We've been looking for this effect - a supernova crashing into its companion star - since it was predicted in 2010," said lead author Griffin Hosseinzadeh, a UCSB graduate student. "Hints have been seen before, but this time the evidence is overwhelming."

The supernova in question is SN 2017cbv, a thermonuclear Type Ia, which astronomers use to measure the acceleration of the expansion of the universe. This kind of supernova is known to be the explosion of a white dwarf star, though it requires additional mass from a companion star to explode.

The UCSB-led research implies that the white dwarf was stealing matter from a much larger companion star - approximately 20 times the radius of the sun - which caused the white dwarf to explode. The collision of the supernova and the companion star shocked the supernova material, heating it to a blue glow heavy in ultraviolet light. Such a shock could not have been produced if the companion were another white dwarf star.

"The universe is crazier than science fiction authors have dared to imagine," said Andy Howell, a staff scientist at LCO and Hosseinzadeh's Ph.D. adviser. "Supernovae can wreck nearby stars, too, releasing unbelievable amounts of energy in the process."

Co-author David Sand, an associate professor at the University of Arizona, discovered the supernova on March 10, 2017, in the galaxy NGC 5643. Only 55 million lightyears away, SN 2017cbv was one of the closest supernovae discovered in recent years, found by the DLT40 survey using the Panchromatic Robotic Optical Monitoring and Polarimetry Telescope (PROMPT) in Chile, which monitors galaxies nightly at distances less than 40 megaparsecs (120 million light-years). This was one of the earliest catches ever - within a day, perhaps even hours, of its explosion. The DLT40 survey was created by Sand and study co-author Stefano Valenti, an assistant professor at UC Davis; both were previously postdoctoral researchers at LCO.

Within minutes of discovery, Sand activated observations with LCO's global network of 18 robotic telescopes, spaced around the Earth so that one is always on the night side. This allowed the team to take immediate and near-continuous observations.

"With LCO's ability to monitor the supernova every few hours, we were able to see the full extent of the rise and fall of the blue glow for the first time," Hosseinzadeh said. "Conventional telescopes would have had only a data point or two and missed it."

Howell likened the event to gaining astronomical superpowers that give astronomers the ability to see the universe in new ways. "These capabilities were just a dream a few years ago," he said. "But now we're living the dream and unlocking the origins of supernovae in the process."

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Scientists probe the conditions of stellar interiors to measure nuclear reactions
Livermore CA (SPX) Aug 09, 2017
Most of the nuclear reactions that drive the nucleosynthesis of the elements in our universe occur in very extreme stellar plasma conditions. This intense environment found in the deep interiors of stars has made it nearly impossible for scientists to perform nuclear measurements in these conditions - until now. In a unique cross-disciplinary collaboration between the fields of plasma phys ... read more

Related Links
University of California - Santa Barbara
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
SpaceX launches super-computer to space station

NASA: let's say something to Voyager 1 on 40th anniversary of launch

Disruptioneering: Streamlining the Process of Scientific Discovery

NASA Offers Space Station as Catalyst for Discovery in Washington

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
SHIIVER tank arrives at NASA's Marshall Center for spray-on foam insulation

Russia's S7 group plans to resume Zenit launches from Sea Launch platform

SpaceX launches super-computer to space station

ISRO Develops Ship-Based Antenna System to Track Satellite Launches

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Curiosity watches Martian clouds pass over Gale Crater

Opportunity takes in the panoramic view while crossing some rocky terrain

Preserving the stress of volcanic uprise on Mars

For Moratorium on Sending Commands to Mars, Blame the Sun

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
China develops sea launches to boost space commerce

Chinese satellite Zhongxing-9A enters preset orbit

Chinese Space Program: From Setback, to Manned Flights, to the Moon

Chinese Rocket Fizzles Out, Puts Other Launches on Hold

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
ASTROSCALE Raises a Total of $25 Million in Series C Led by Private Companies

LISA Pathfinder: bake, rattle and roll

Lockheed Martin invests $350M in state-of-the-art satellite production facility

Airbus DS to expand cooperation with Russia

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Archinaut Project conducts first large-scale 3D build in space-like environment

Nature provides a key to repelling liquids

Heat-conducting plastic could lead to lighter electronics, cars

Scientists watch 'artificial atoms' assemble into perfect lattices with many uses

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Tidally locked exoplanets may be more common than previously thought

TRAPPIST-1 twice as old as our solar system

Deep-sea animals eating plastic fibers from clothing

A New Search for Extrasolar Planets from the Arecibo Observatory

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy planets

New Horizons Video Soars over Pluto's Majestic Mountains and Icy Plains

Juno spots Jupiter's Great Red Spot

New evidence in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement