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Why Won't the Supernova Explode?

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posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 07:36 AM
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It's a real mystery as scientists don't know yet how it's possible...

All the supercomputers are unable to reproduce what we see when a supernova explode:


Somewhere in the Milky Way, a massive old star is about to die a spectacular death. As its nuclear fuel runs out, the star begins to collapse under its own tremendous weight. Crushing pressure triggers new nuclear reactions, setting the stage for a terrifying blast. And then... nothing happens.

At least that's what supercomputers have been telling astrophysicists for decades. Many of the best computer models of supernovas fail to produce an explosion. At the end of the simulation, gravity wins the day and the star simply collapses.

Clearly, physicists are missing something.



1987A


"We don't fully understand how supernovas of massive stars work yet," says Fiona Harrison, an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology.

To figure out what’s going on, Harrison and colleagues would like to examine the inside of a real supernova while it's exploding. That's not possible, so they're doing the next best thing.

Using a telescope named "NuSTAR" --short for Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array -- they'll be scanning the debris from supernovas as soon as possible after the blast.



A supercomputer model of a spinning core-collapse supernova. NuSTAR observations of actual supernova remnants will provide vital data for such models. Credit: Fiona Harrison

Read the full article here ------------> science.nasa.gov
edit on 17-6-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 07:47 AM
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We think we know so much, when we know nothing.
Key variabels are still unknown to us. I wonder what really makes the universe tick.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 08:47 AM
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Thank you for posting this interesting article - I didn't know how the X-Ray telescopes worked before this. Amazing!



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by needlenight
 



We think we know so much, when we know nothing.


Uhg... I'm sick and tired of this line...



(Second Line)



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 09:26 AM
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all it means is that the computer models are not yet accurately enough. That is how science works. It is an iterative process, you observe, you hypothesize, you test the hypothesis. Unless your tests confirm your observations, you still have a hypothesis.



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


the only thing i think of is it has to do something with time, and universal expansion, and the mass and pressure of the entire surrounding moving universe........

i dont know much about physics so dont think i know anything....

but if this star is cruising fine for billions of years,,, and then a large physical change takes place and it starts to change size and slow speeds,,, and cave in on it self,,,, perhaps it has to do with its halted motion,,, and maybe the collapse takes place very quickly and as its collapsing the surrounding pressure and space rush into the center,, and cause all the rushed energy towards the center to react with each other violently..

we should lure CL prime into this thread to lend his mind..
edit on 17-6-2012 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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I think I heard something similar on the science channel. They were modelling stellar collapse and supernovas with a supercomputer and a large number of their runs with really massive stars resulted in the star collapsing straight into a black hole with no supernova. They decided to call this and un-nova. My guess is that when the star is that massive that sometimes it's collapse is able to bypass the mechanisms that cause supernovas and just turn straight into a black hole.



posted on Jun, 18 2012 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by ErtaiNaGia
reply to post by needlenight
 


We think we know so much, when we know nothing.

Uhg... I'm sick and tired of this line...


Yes -- I hate this strawman-like argument. It arises all too often on ATS.
As Dara O'Briain so rightfully says in that clip : "Science KNOWS it doesn't know everything, or else it would stop."

People seem to be confused as to what science actually is. Science is not about proclaiming the Truths of Nature to the world in a totalitarian manner. Rather, the scientific process is about building upon past theories in a never-ending attempt to understand nature.

Science isn't Knowledge -- it's the method we use to help gain our knowledge.

And it truly is never-ending. As I have said before (similar to what Dara O'Briain said), Science KNOWS it doesn't have all the answers. It wouldn't be science if they DID have all the answers.


++++


As for understanding supernovae -- I don't think science ever tried to tell us they knew exactly how it all worked. They may have hypothesized how it worked, and set about testing that hypothesis (such as the computer simulation mentioned in the OP), but that doesn't mean science thought they definitely knew all about supernovae.

Obviously science knew they didn't know everything about supernovae, or else they wouldn't have bothered with this computer simulation. I mean, why bother trying to prove something if they thought they had all of the answers already?

No -- this is simply the way science works. You form a hypothesis, then test that hypothesis. If the testing of that hypothesis fails to produce the expected outcome (which happens VERY often in science, such as with this computer simulation not reproducing a supernovae), then you adjust your hypothesis and test it again.

The people running this experiment aren't throwing their hands up and saying "I give up -- we can't reproduce a supernovae". Rather, as good scientists do, they will do more real-world observations, more calculations, and refine their variables in an attempt to reproduce the supernovae, thus getting a better understanding as to how they work.

Even then there will be aspects of supernovae that science would admit that they still not quite understand. It's never-ending.


edit on 6/18/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 03:24 AM
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Originally posted by Hellhound604
(...) That is how science works. It is an iterative process, you observe, you hypothesize, you test the hypothesis. Unless your tests confirm your observations, you still have a hypothesis.


Yes and no.

I'd say it differently. Everything that we discover at one point is the start of other discoveries or the end of an error.

Fact is, what is true today might not be true in the future. The Earth was flat before.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 

"Science KNOWS it doesn't know everything, or else it would stop."
Sorry, just got to pick at this. SCIENCE is not SENTIENT to THINK for itself.
Therefore SCIENCE cannot know jack squat.

Science is studied by groups of individuals, and their personal use of science is as varied as the grains of sand, and yes, some people who use Science act like it is a law unto itself, and no one should dare correct it. Others treat it as if it was worth less than toilet paper.

IT IS A TOOL AND ONLY A TOOL for understanding the environment we live in, and like all tools, it can be misused, it has been misused, and it will be.

It's like trying to remind people that Math is only a mapping system, and that some maps are crappy.



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