Supernovae

Category archives for Supernovae

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people…

The Power of Admitting “I’m Wrong”

“Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain’t so.” -Mark Twain “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” -Richard Feynman Every day that you set forth in the world is a…

When supernovae get too big!

“You cannot, in human experience, rush into the light. You have to go through the twilight into the broadening day before the noon comes and the full sun is upon the landscape.” -Woodrow Wilson Without a doubt, one of the most spectacular light shows of the cosmos happens when stars burn out — reaching the…

“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 When stars reach the end of their lives, there are many possible fates that they…

“Not explaining science seems to me perverse. When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.” -Carl Sagan Nothing lasts forever in this Universe, not even the seemingly timeless stars in the sky. At any moment, any one of the brilliant, twinkling points of light from across the galaxy could run out of fuel,…

Our Galaxy’s Next Supernova

“The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.” -Johannes Kepler So said the man who, in 1604, discovered the supernova that was the last to be seen, visually, within our…

A History of our Galaxy’s Fireworks!

“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 When we look out at galaxies throughout the Universe, we find that every so often…

Did this Supernova Leave Nothing Behind?

“Nothing leads the scientist so astray as a premature truth.” -Jean Rostand One of the most awesome events, literally, that happens in this Universe is when stars — giant nuclear furnaces like our Sun — die in the most energetic way possible: a supernova. Video credit: Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Ors Hunor Detre, Oliver Krause), via…

The Heavy Metal Universe!

“They credited us with the birth of that sort of heavy metal thing. Well, if that’s the case, there should be an immediate abortion.” -Ginger Baker As hard as it may be to believe, take a look outside. I don’t mean a glance, I mean to take a real look. At all the things there…

Galaxies near the speed of light!

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” -Albert Einstein Now that you know how many galaxies are in our expanding Universe, you might be wondering about their speeds. After all, since the Universe is expanding, that means that the farther away a galaxy is from us, the faster it’s…