Supernovae

Category archives for Supernovae

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…

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” -Edgar Allen Poe Earlier this week, the Nobel Prize in Physics was announced for the discovery that the Universe is not only expanding, but that this expansion is accelerating! What does an accelerated expansion…

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 Ever since…

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.” -Richard Feynman Last week, a…

Going Nuclear: How Stars Die

“After all, the universe required ten billion years of evolution before life was even possible; the evolution of the stars and the evolving of new chemical elements in the nuclear furnaces of the stars were indispensable prerequisites for the generation of life.” -John Polkinghorne There are close to a whopping 1028 atoms in your body.…

What makes a supernova so super, anyway?

Daughter, age 7: “Daddy, will the Earth always go around the Sun forever?” Louis CK: “Well no, at some point the Sun is going to explode.” Daughter: (starts crying) Louis CK: “Oh honey, this is not going to happen until you and everyone you know has been dead for a very long time.” Daughter: (continues…

“After your death you will be what you were before your birth.” -Arthur Schopenhauer If only every star’s death could be as glorious as a supernova, rocketing anywhere from thousands to millions of Earth-masses out of a star and into interstellar space. When we get one in our galaxy, like we do every few hundred…

“Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once.” -Henry David Thoreau The night sky is our greatest glimpse of what lies out there, beyond our own world, in the expanse of space we know as our Universe. With our naked eyes, we are able…

Hubble for the Holidays: A Bauble of a Bubble

“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 Supernovae are the most spectacular death-knells of the largest stars in our Universe. Nearly all…