Image: Going supernova

Jan 14, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

While searching the skies for black holes using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers discovered a giant supernova that was smothered in its own dust.

In this artist's rendering, an outer shell of gas and dust -- which erupted from the star hundreds of years ago -- obscures the within.

This event in a distant galaxy hints at one possible future for the brightest star system in our own Milky Way.

Explore further: Millisecond pulsars clearly demonstrate that pulsars are neutron stars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: In the Constellation Cassiopeia

Jul 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Tycho's Supernova, the red circle visible in the upper left part of the image, is SN 1572 is a remnant of a star explosion is named after the astronomer Tycho Brahe, although he was not the ...

Spitzer Spies Remnants of a Shy Star

May 15, 2006

Big stars usually aren't shy about anything, not even death. At the end of their lives, they throw explosive tantrums, called supernovae, flinging abundant amounts of hot gas and radiation into space. Remnants ...

Recommended for you

How small can galaxies be?

Sep 29, 2014

Yesterday I talked about just how small a star can be, so today let's explore just how small a galaxy can be. Our Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across, and contains about 200 billion stars. Th ...

The coolest stars

Sep 29, 2014

One way that stars are categorized is by temperature. Since the temperature of a star can determine its visual color, this category scheme is known as spectral type. The main categories of spectral type are ...

Simulations reveal an unusual death for ancient stars

Sep 29, 2014

(Phys.org) —Certain primordial stars—those 55,000 and 56,000 times the mass of our Sun, or solar masses—may have died unusually. In death, these objects—among the Universe's first-generation of stars—would ...

User comments : 0