A supernova that's super different

Jun 03, 2011 By Alvin Powell
Supernova 2002bj was the first discovered example of a new type of exploding star. It’s just as bright as its host galaxy, the smudge to the supernova’s lower right. Credit: University of California, Berkeley

A researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics believes that a new kind of supernova is at work in recent observations of bright but short-lasting stellar explosions that don’t appear to fit known categories.

Hagai Perets began working on the problem after coming across a description of a 2002 , discovered by University of California, Berkeley, researchers, whose description didn’t seem to fit into known categories. Instead of forgetting about it, he dove into past literature, looking for similar supernovas with unexplained characteristics. He found two, from 1885 and 1939.

He eventually tracked down the spectrum of the 1939 supernova on an old photographic glass plate he obtained from the Carnegie Observatories. Spectrums are important because the light coming from stars varies depending on the elements present. By examining spectrums, astronomers can tell what a star is made of and compare that with the composition of others.

After examining all the information that could be gleaned from the older observations and comparing it with the newer data, Perets said these stellar death throes are different from known supernovas in several ways. Like ordinary supernovas, they can briefly become the brightest objects in the sky, but they are more short-lived, waxing and waning in a matter of days rather than weeks, as with more typical supernova. They also eject far less material in their explosions and don’t seem to be powered by known processes.

“It’s a very good puzzle,” Perets said. “This is very strange.”

Supernovas are among the most spectacular events in the universe, marking one way that stars end their lives. They can briefly become so bright that they outshine their entire home galaxies. They’re important for another reason as well. Because stars are fueled by nuclear fusion, in which smaller, lighter elements fuse to form heavier elements, they become factories in which heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen, and iron are created. The explosions that destroy stars create even heavier elements and scatter them over large distances to places, including Earth, where they eventually can be used by living things.

Perets said that these new supernovas may result from the explosion of a kind of star called a white dwarf and that such a blast may involve only the star’s upper layers. Because white dwarf are smaller and less dense than larger ones, these new explosions may prove to be a source for intermediate elements.

“Maybe it produces a large fraction of the calcium in the universe,” Perets said. “Probably other intermediate elements are produced in higher quantities.”

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have already uncovered another example of this type of star, called SN 2010X. Perets said more may be found now that astronomers know how to look for them, producing additional information that may help solve the mystery.

“We’re going to know more about these in the next few years,” Perets said. “It’s going to be a puzzle for theoreticians.”

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omatumr
1.2 / 5 (19) Jun 03, 2011
A supernova that's super different


To solve the mysteries of distant stars, astrophysicists must first address experimental observations that showed the Sun - the only star available for detailed study -

a.) Formed on the collapsed core of a precursor star [1,2]

b.) Acts as a plasma diffuser that enriches light elements and isotopes at the top of the photosphere [3]

c.) Is powered by repulsive forces between neutrons in the solar core [4]

Earlier data and observations are cited in [1-4]

1. Science 195, 208-209 (1977)

www.sciencemag.or...74/208-b

2. Nature 277, 615-620 (1979)

www.nature.com/na...5a0.html

3.Physics of Atomic Nuclei 69, 1847-1856 (2006)
or Yadernaya Fizika 69, number 11 (2006) (Russian)

http://arxiv.org/.../0609509

4. "Neutron Repulsion", The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011)

http://arxiv.org/...2.1499v1

Oliver K. Manuel
Ethelred
4.7 / 5 (13) Jun 03, 2011
Spam spam spam spam
Spam spam spam spam
Spammity spam Cranking out spam

The Sun disagrees with you.

It does NOT have a rigid iron surface as that is impossible for a plasma of any composition. That you refuse to see this is not a sign of sanity as your position is utterly indefensible.

The Sun does not have a neutron star in it as the smallest neutron star possible is more massive than the Sun.

Any hydrogen gas on a white dwarf or a neutron star must eventually go BANG on that multi billion gravity surface.

There is no evidence for neutron repulsion. YOUR students table does not in way show that anything other than the Pauli Exclusion principle is involved.

None of those students are supporting on this so clearly they don't agree with your idea either.

Ethelred
J-n
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 03, 2011
None of those students are supporting on this so clearly they don't agree with your idea either.


Now to be fair, maybe they're not here supporting him because he treats his students like he treats his children, and not because they don't support his scientific ideas.

Twin
not rated yet Jun 03, 2011
@J-n
"like he treats his children"

?
T2Nav
5 / 5 (10) Jun 03, 2011
Honestly, every time I come to Physorg to read about a supercomputer or a novel new plastic or a galaxy or a rainbow, I am expecting Oliver to be there claiming it's proof that the sun is a neutron star.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2011
"like he treats his children"


This is one of those things that you might feel that the answer is something you wished you had not found out.

If you really want to know you can google his name.

Ethelred
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (8) Jun 04, 2011
@T2Nav
Him and a couple of other guys like QC are really polluting this forum. I don't want to be rude or in favor of sensorship but it does annoy me that they just keep on spamming.
Gilbert
5 / 5 (6) Jun 04, 2011
Censorship has an application in the interest of maintaining this website's credibility and respect. The more olivers we get on this site, the lower the level of conversation, which in turn will bring in more and more omatumors to this site, and rather soon the content will have to be "censored"(to suit their POV) anyway. Maybe there should be an IQ test in the application form to becoming a member :P
BillFox
5 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2011
Yeah let's all listen to omatumr, he only molested and raped his 4 children, holy f*ck man what is wrong with you?! Any bit of validity you may have had, just went out the window. Also I didn't know they had internet in prison, but I don't think you will be so lucky in hell, I hear the best they have is aol dial up and it only gets 1kbps

@vidar - yes we all dispise qc, and apparently he got banned and is back under his new name, which I cannot recall right now.
Baseline
not rated yet Jun 04, 2011
One thing one can count on here is numerous commentators willing and able to engage in an exercise of scientific pontification.

So don't let me interrupt please continue telling us all how it all works because I guess the point here isn't to engage in a dialogue of discussion that may challenge conventional theories.
BillFox
5 / 5 (1) Jun 04, 2011
Isn't there some process to take away his fancy title of doctor? Pretty sure if you f*ck an 11 year old girl no one cares what you say anyhow. F*cked up degenerate scum of this planet shouldn't even have a voice. Isn't there some statute that let's us take off his fingers and make him mute? I think the biggest question of all is... how the hell are you still allowed on the internet? Child molestor!
Ethelred
5 / 5 (7) Jun 04, 2011
I guess the point here isn't to engage in a dialogue of discussion that may challenge conventional theories.
Oliver isn't interested in a discussion. He is spamming the site and is completely unable to answer most questions except by repeating what is in question.

Try reading his crap. I have read it. ALL of it. Its utter crap. He has ONE table, some evidence of a supernova being involved the beginning of the Solar system and from that he has decided that he has evidence that NO ONE else has a clue about physics and only he is right and by god we have no business questioning him.

His table fits the Pauli Exclusion principle and he refuses to explain why we should that as neutron repulsion which he clearly thinks is long range but won't admit to that either.

Go ahead. Try and engage in rational with him. It can't be done.

Ethelred
Ober
1 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2011
Why aren't we IGNORING the idiots, rather than discussing them.
Yeah I'm guilty, simply by writing this post.
yyz
5 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2011
On the subject of supernovae, a relatively bright SN recently appeared in the well-known 'Whirlpool Galaxy' M 51: http://www.univer...-galaxy/

More info and observations of 14th mag(peak) SN 2011dh can be found here: http://www.astron...ead=3401

and here: http://translate....886.html

Archival images of M 51 taken between May 30th and June 2, 2011 are being sought by the Palomar Transit Factory (see requirements & contact info in the post by "avishay" at the UT link. Visual observations by suitably equipped amateurs (and those using rent-a-scope facilities) should be possible due to the proximity of M 51 to Earth.

[one caveat is that the SN will only be near peak brightness for a couple of days, though imagers should be able to follow the fading SNR for a bit longer]

Position RA 13h 30m 05s 47 10' 05"
GoldenBear12
not rated yet Jun 05, 2011
I'm probably just missing something due to vagueness of the article, but if this event is caused by exploding upper layers of a white dwarf, what makes it different than normal novae? Or if it involves explosion of the whole white dwarf how is it different than a type 1a?