Something Unusual, Something New

Some of the biggest explosions in the universe

Astronomy News – Supernovas are some of the most powerful and visually striking events observed during the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time. Releasing more energy in a single moment than Sol will over its entire lifetime, a supernova is luminous enough to shine brighter in the night sky than entire galaxies during one moment in space and time, before slowly fading from view over several weeks or months. The force of a supernova expels a large percentage of a star’s mass into the darkness of space and time at about 10 percent of the speed of light and creates a shock wave that sweeps up the expanding shell of gas and dust released during the explosion referred to by astronomers as a supernova remnant. 

 Astronomers search for new supernovae

Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to search the night sky for active galactic nuclei (AGN), super-massive black holes at the center of galaxies, recently reported the discovery of a supernova smothered in the remnants of its own star-dust during their search. This has astronomers scratching their heads in amazement at something they have never viewed during the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time. Scientists think supernovas like this one probably occurred during the early universe, more than they do during present time, and this discovery has astronomers looking for answers to questions they never thought they would be asking.

Astronomers realised something was different

The recorded temperature of the object they were viewing was about 1,000 Kelvin (about 700 degrees Celsius), which is slightly hotter than the surface of Venus. This means something was dissipating the light energy of the supernova as heat? Astronomers wondered if the dust from the supernova could be choking off the light from the supernova and creating the heat they were viewing? Taking data from studies of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope astronomers worked backward in space and time to see if they could figure out what kind of star could have theoretically created this supernova and if they could recreate a scenario where the dust from a supernova obscures the universe from the light released during the supernova. They calculated that the star in this supernova would have to be a giant star at least 50 times as massive as Sol. Astronomers have viewed these types of stars releasing huge clouds of dust as they near the end of their lives, but they calculated this particular star probably released clouds of stardust several times during this same period of time. The last cloud of stardust expelled would, therefore, be closer to this massive star, than earlier released clouds of stardust, they reasoned. If the earlier dust cloud was also opaque, it would absorb the light energy released during later energy releases, and this could certainly account for the hot dust cloud they observed through NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
This dust cloud obscures the dust from its parent star

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Read about NASA’s Messenger spacecraft and its mission to Mercury

Have you heard about the recent meteorite that exploded near the Ural Mountains

Read about the supernova astronomers are studying looking for a black hole they think was created during the explosion

The More We Look, the More We Wonder?


Do we really know anything? 

Astronomy News – The more astronomers look around on the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time, the more they realise we really have only scratched the surface of the known universe, and we really know nothing. This is exciting, for sure, for astronomers viewing the universe, but it means space scientists are constantly reworking theories and ideas concerning the universe and the way things really work. Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to view a distant gas-giant planet called Upsilon Andromedae b recently noticed a warm spot on this planet’s surface that according to previous ideas seems to be a bit out of position. Upsilon Andromedae b circles very closely to its parent star and belongs to a class of planets astronomers refer to as hot Jupiters, because of the intense temperatures and large, gaseous makeup of these planets. One face of this planet is always directly facing the intense heat produced by the sun and because of this, it would seem logical that the hottest parts of this planet should be directly facing the sun. Previous views of hot Jupiters have shown astronomers that it was possible for hot spots on these types of planets to be slightly shifted away from the sun’s direct heat. The viewing of this hot spot on Upsilon Andromedae b using the Spitzer Space Telescope has thrown a wrench into this idea, though, because the hot spot on Upsilon Andromedae b, is offset by a whopping 80 degrees, and sits practically on the other side of the planet. 

Every time we get one answer, ten more questions appear

This is very disconcerting to astronomers who were thinking they were beginning to figure a few things out about hot-Jupiter type planets. Scientists are presently working at trying to figure out how the hottest spot on Upsilon Andromedae b could be so far from the main source of heat in the solar system? In this effort they’re currently looking at similar hot Jupiters to Upsilon Andromedae b, to see if they can find any clue to this mystery, and we’ll keep you updated as the human “Journey to the Beginning of Space and Time continues.
Astronomers found a warm spot on the cool side of this red exo-planet
How did this warm spot get over here on the cool side of the planet?

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