jul 222013
Anne's Image of the Day: The Firework Nebula

July 22, 2013 The Firework Nebula, a nova remnant in Perseus Image Credit: Tiina Liimets (the Tartu Observatory in Estonia), et al. The Firework Nebula (also known as GK Persei) is a nova remnant, an expanding cloud of gas and dust of about 0.7 light-year across, formed by Nova Persei 1901, a nova which exploded [continue reading]

jan 242013
The 3D Fireworks of an Exploded Star

  In 1901 the star GK Persei gave off a powerful explosion that has not stopped growing and astonishing ever since. Now a team of Spanish and Estonian astronomers has reconstructed the journey of the emitted gas in 3D which, contrary to predictions, has hardly slowed down its speed of up to 1,000 km/s after [continue reading]

jan 152013
Neon Lights up Exploding Stars

  An international team of nuclear astrophysicists has shed new light on the explosive stellar events known as novae. Artistic view of a nova explosion depicting the binary stellar system. Image Credit: David A Hardy and STFC These dramatic explosions are driven by nuclear processes and make previously unseen stars visible for a short time. [continue reading]

dec 182012
Are White Dwarfs Imitating Black Holes?

  The Physics and Astronomy team from the University of Southampton are part of a global collaboration – with colleagues in Taiwan, South Africa, Poland, Australia and Italy – that has revealed that bright X-ray flares in nearby galaxies, once assumed to indicate the presence of black holes, can in fact be produced by white dwarfs. [continue reading]

aug 242012
Type Ia Supernovae Have Different Origins

  Exploding stars called Type 1a supernovae are ideal for measuring cosmic distances because they are bright enough to spot across the Universe and have relatively the same luminosity everywhere. Although astronomers have many theories about the kinds of star systems involved in these explosions (or progenitor systems), no one has ever directly observed one—until [continue reading]

mei 202012
SkyMapper May Shed Light on Dark Matter

  Astronomers believe that 90% of our universe is composed of dark matter, a mysterious substance that we can’t directly see. Add to that dark energy, a force that seems to be accelerating the expansion of the universe and the picture you get is of a very strange universe much of which we don’t currently [continue reading]