Historic Supernova Explosion Still Shines Bright After 30 Years


For conceptual objective number 8 I decided to use the article “Historic Supernova Explosion Still Shines Bright After 30 Years” from space.com. This article is about a massive star explosion from 1987, that can still be seen today. Since the star was so close astronomers were able to really study the super nova unlike before. The article said ” providing astronomers with a unique opportunity to study the phases before, during and after the death of a star”. So because of this astronomers were really able to expand and broaden their understanding of how super novas working thanks to super nova 1987A. They used things like the Hubble space telescope and the Chandra X-ray telescope so really watch and examine the former star. The article then talks about the eventual ending of the star, saying that it turned into a hot body. And that because the star did this stellar winds picked up, causing slower material to pile up. So when this material piled up it formed a “concentric ring-like structure around the dead star”, so it basically formed kind of a wall of material around the star. So after the initial explosion illuminated the rings the supernova then crashed together with the inner ring. This then makes the gas get very hot and put out “strong X-Ray emissions”. Since all this heat is being built up from the colliding of material it will then in response gain more energy since the two, energy and heat, are directly proportional to one another.

This relates to objective 8 because it discusses the relationship between temperature and luminosity. It goes really well with the sections we did in the class work book, which is when we learned how to infer one or the other on page 57 with the H-R diagram. Since supernova 1987A  had a higher temperature, it had more energetic photons and produced a brighter and easier to see luminosity.

Over all I thought this article was very neat and extremely helpful to help me understand the objective better, especially with the video on the web site. I think this objective is pretty neat because I think its cool to actually understand why some stars shine brighter than others and why they appear more visible to us.


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