Supernovae

Category archives for Supernovae

“And no one showed us to the land And no one knows the where’s or why’s But something stirs and something tries And starts to climb towards the light” –Pink Floyd, Echoes It’s pretty difficult to imagine, but a little over 300 years ago, a supernova — a dying, ultramassive star — exploded, giving rise…

“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” –Robert Frost We’ve come…

Death is not the end (Synopsis)

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.” –J.R.R. Tolkien No matter how well we care for our bodies, they eventually wear down, give out, and…

One of the great, catastrophic truths of the Universe is that everything has an expiration date. And this includes every single point of light in the entire sky. The most massive stars — like Betelgeuse (at the upper left) — will die in a spectacular supernova explosion when their final stage of core fuel runs out.…

“A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself.” –Niels Bohr There’s a wonderful story that the Universe tells us about itself: the story of where everything in it came from, and how it came to be this way. From the perspective of a human being, there’s possibly no component of that as…

“When I had satisfied myself that no star of that kind had ever shone before, I was led into such perplexity by the unbelievability of the thing that I began to doubt the faith of my own eyes.” –Tycho Brahe The Milky Way is home to many of the greatest sights ever to grace the…

“Art has a double face, of expression and illusion, just like science has a double face: the reality of error and the phantom of truth.” –Publilius Syrus Out in the depths of space, objects range from the incredibly small and low mass to the huge and super-heavy, shrinking down again for the most ultra-massive objects…

Striking Cosmic Gold (Synopsis)

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; wisdom is better than silver or gold.” -Bob Marley Going back to ancient times, it’s hard to think of a more commonly coveted element than gold. In fact, trying to transmute other elements into it was perhaps the holy grail of the pseudoscience of alchemy, the forerunner…

The Night the Universe Changed

“I conclude, therefore, that this star is not some kind of comet or a fiery meteor… but that it is a star shining in the firmament itself one that has never previously been seen before our time, in any age since the beginning of the world.” –Tycho Brahe I want to take you back in…

Messier Monday: The Pinwheel Galaxy, M101

“I should like to lie at your feet and die in your arms.” –Voltaire Every object that we look at for Messier Monday has its own flavor, its own qualities, and its own unique characteristics. By far the most numerous of the 110 deep-sky objects making up the Messier catalogue are the galaxies, of which there are…