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Posts Tagged ‘supernova’

Closest Supernova in 25 Years Is a ‘Cosmic Classic,’ Astronomers Say

August 26, 2011 Comments off

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The arrow marks PTF 11kly in images taken on the Palomar 48-inch telescope over the nights of, from left to right, Aug. 22, 23 and 24. The supernova wasn't there Aug. 22, was discovered Aug. 23, and brightened considerably by Aug. 24. CREDIT: Peter Nugent and the Palomar Transient Factory

Astronomers have spotted the closest supernova in a generation — and in a week or so, stargazers with a good pair of binoculars might be able to see it, too.

The supernova, or exploded star, flared up Tuesday night (Aug. 23) in the Pinwheel Galaxy, just 21 million light-years from Earth. It’s the closest star explosion of its type observed since 1986, and astronomers around the world are already scrambling to train their instruments on it.

Researchers said they think they caught the supernova, named PTF 11kly, within Read more…

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Mystery of cosmic ray source bombarding the southern pole of Earth intensifies

May 9, 2011 Comments off

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May 6, 2011 – ANTARCTICA – Cosmic rays crashing into the Earth over the South Pole appear to be coming from particular locations, rather than being distributed uniformly across the sky. Similar cosmic ray “hotspots” have been seen in the northern skies too, yet we know of no source close enough to produce this pattern. “We don’t know where they are coming from,” says Stefan Westerhoff of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It’s a mystery because the hotspots must be produced within about 0.03 light years of Earth. Further out, galactic magnetic fields should deflect the particles so much that the hotspots would be smeared out across the sky. But no such sources are known to exist. One of the hotspots seen by IceCube points in the direction of the Vela supernova remnant, a possible source of cosmic rays, but it’s almost 1000 light years away. Cosmic rays coming from such large distances should be constantly buffeted and deflected by galactic magnetic fields on route, and should thus have lost all directionality by the time they reach Earth. In other words, such long-distance cosmic rays should appear to come from all parts of the sky. That’s not what has been observed. (Source article below) Read more…

Twin suns setting on the Earth?

January 23, 2011 Comments off

Tatooine’s twin suns – coming to a planet near you just as soon as Betelgeuse explodes

Twin suns – setting on Earth any day now. Rumors of possible wamp rats and Sarlaac manifestation yet to be confirmed.

  • Betelgeuse losing mass
  • Explosion will create “new sun”
  • May be set for 2012 appearance

IT’S the ultimate experience for Star Wars fans – staring forlornly off into the distance as twin suns sink into the horizon.

Yet it’s not just a figment of George Lucas’s imagination – twin suns are real. And here’s the big news – they could be coming to Earth.

Yes, any day now we see a second sun light up the sky, if only for a matter of weeks.

The infamous red super-giant star in Orion’s nebula – Betelgeuse – is predicted to go gangbusters and the impending super-nova may reach Earth before 2012, and when it does, all of our wildest Star Wars dreams will come true.

The second biggest star in the Orion Nebula is losing mass, a typical indication that a gravitation collapse is occurring.

When that happens, we’ll get our second sun, according to Dr Brad Carter, Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland.

“This old star is running out of fuel in its center”, Dr Carter said. Read more…