Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy, Supernovae > Forecasting A Supernova Explosion

Forecasting A Supernova Explosion


Supernova picture taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope provided courtesy of NASA

Supernova picture taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope provided courtesy of NASA

Type II supernovae are formed when massive stars collapse, initiating giant explosions. It is thought that stars emit a burst of mass as a precursor to the supernova explosion. If this process were better understood, it could be used to predict and study supernova events in their earliest stages. New observations from a team of astronomers including Carnegie’s Mansi Kasliwal show a remarkable mass-loss event about a month before the explosion of a type IIn supernova. Their work is published on February 7 in Nature.

Several models for the supernova-creation process predict pre-explosion outbursts, but it has been difficult for scientists to directly observe this process. Observations of emission lines radiating out form type IIn supernovae are thought to represent interactions between the mass ejected during and prior to the star’s explosion.

Full Story: http://carnegiescience.edu/news/forecasting_supernova_explosion

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