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New Supernova Remnant Lights Up: SN1987A Shines Again

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posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:37 PM

This HST image of SN 1987A shows the brightening ring of supernova debris. The closest supernova explosion seen in almost 400 years, it is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. (Credit: Pete Challis (CfA))

ScienceDaily (June 13, 2011) — In 1987, light from an exploding star in a neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, reached Earth. Named Supernova 1987A, it was the closest supernova explosion witnessed in almost 400 years, allowing astronomers to study it in unprecedented detail as it evolves. Today a team of astronomers announced that the supernova debris, which has faded s0vewr the years is now brightening. This shows that a different power source has begun to light the debris, and marks the transition from a supernova to a supernova remnant.


Another very cool pic courtesy of the Hubble Space Tellescope. Other than being a cool pic of rarely observed space phenomenon, It caught my attention that the debris cloud is actually getting brighter. So far the intensty in illumination is deemed an unknown force. However it is speculated that it has something to do with the radiation decay rate.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:46 PM
It reminds me of the all-seeing eye... I wonder if this could be construed as the fulfillment of some masonic prophecy? BTW, love your user name...

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:00 PM
Very cool, although I fail to see where the mystery comes in. This is entirely predicted by models, although it is the first time we've been able to study the process in such fine detail. From the linked article's source::

When a massive star explodes as a supernova, substantial amounts of radioactive elements—primarily 56Ni, 57Ni and 44Ti—are produced1. After the initial flash of light from shock heating, the fading light emitted by the supernova is due to the decay of these elements2. However, after decades, the energy powering a supernova remnant comes from the shock interaction between the ejecta and the surrounding medium. The transition to this phase has hitherto not been observed: supernovae occur too infrequently in the Milky Way to provide a young example, and extragalactic supernovae are generally too faint and too small. Here we report observations that show this transition in the supernova SN 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud. From 1994 to 2001, the ejecta faded owing to radioactive decay of 44Ti as predicted. Then the flux started to increase, more than doubling by the end of 2009. We show that this increase is the result of heat deposited by X-rays produced as the ejecta interacts with the surrounding material. In time, the X-rays will penetrate farther into the ejecta, enabling us to analyse the structure and chemistry of the vanished star.

Basically, when relatively large stars are about to die (the process varies depending on size) they eject their outer shell in a ring-like shape, and then the remnants of the star continues to burn and compress for a very short period, followed by the final explosion.

In 1987, we observed this final explosion. Now, (or rather back in 2009) that extremely fast-moving exploded material has caught up with the earlier discharged ring of material. These interactions are so energetic that they "ignite" the material, making it shine brightly.

I think the article misunderstood the article it was sourcing. There's no mystery, at least from what I've come across so far.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:01 PM
reply to post by visualmiscreant

Perhapse Lord Mordor has taken a new form, hence the unknown force.

Thanks for the compliment by the way.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:06 PM
reply to post by Son of Will

Way to go! Nice catch. The members here at ATS by far are some of the smartest people on the internet.

Very well then, mystery solved.

posted on May, 8 2015 @ 03:16 AM
I just caught that on Anyone else think the center looks strangely very similar to a human head? The shape at the center has the form of a head with a neck, ears and possibly some facial features like a nose. I find it an odd coincidence that an explosion of a star takes the shape of a human head.

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