okt 012012
Yellow Supergiant Became a Supernova

  A group of researchers led by Melina Bersten (Kavli IPMU) has presented evidence that the yellow supergiant (YSG) star found at the location of supernova SN 2011dh in the famous nearby galaxy M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy) was indeed the SN progenitor, as well as produced a self-consistent model to explain how a star of [continue reading]

sep 062012
Where are the Companions of Supernovae?

  Japanese researchers discovered that a Type Ia supernova occurs after its companion star evolves into a faint helium white dwarf in many cases, given the fact that the white dwarf is spinning in the progenitor system. Figure 1. Configuration of progenitor binary system in the case of a red-giant (left) and a white dwarf (right, [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]

aug 042012
Supernova Progenitor Found?

  Type Ia supernovae are violent stellar explosions. Observations of their brightness are used to determine distances in the universe and have shown scientists that the cosmos is expanding at an accelerating rate. But there is still too little known about the specifics of the processes by which these supernovae form. New research, led by [continue reading]

mei 202012
 Planetary Nebula is Born of Uncertain Parentage

A new Legacy Image from the Gemini Observatory reveals the remarkable complexity of the planetary nebula Sharpless 2-71 (Sh 2-71). Embroiled in a bit of controversy over its “birth parents” the nebula likely resulted from interactions between a pair of two old and dying stars. Legacy images like this one share the stunning beauty of [continue reading]