Saturday, February 24, 2007

NASA's Hubble Telescope Celebrates SN 1987A's 20th Anniversary

A String of 'Cosmic Pearls' Surrounds an Exploding Star-NASA, ESA, P. Challis, and R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Twenty years ago, astronomers witnessed one of the brightest stellar explosions in more than 400 years. The titanic supernova, called SN 1987A, blazed with the power of 100 million suns for several months following its discovery on Feb. 23, 1987.

Observations of SN 1987A, made over the past 20 years by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and many other major ground- and space-based telescopes, have significantly changed astronomers' views of how massive stars end their lives. Astronomers credit Hubble's sharp vision with yielding important clues about the massive star's demise.

"The sharp pictures from the Hubble telescope help us ask and answer new questions about Supernova 1987A," said Robert Kirshner, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. "In fact, without Hubble we wouldn't even know what to ask."

Kirshner is the lead investigator of an international collaboration to study the doomed star. Studying supernovae like SN 1987A is important because the exploding stars create elements, such as carbon and iron, that make up new stars, galaxies, and even humans. The iron in a person's blood, for example, was manufactured in supernova explosions. SN 1987A ejected 20,000 Earth masses of radioactive iron. The core of the shredded star is now glowing because of radioactive titanium that was cooked up in the explosion.

The star is 163,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud. It actually blew up about 161,000 B.C., but its light arrived here in 1987.




If you get the chance take a look over at the post "Supernova 1987A" done by Stefan of Backreaction in regards to this issue. It is nice to be able to reflect where one was when such a event took place. Maybe you remember where you were and can comment?

About the event itself I must say it has not triggered any remembrances other then what I choose to reflect on my own life, and that's something different.

What is of interest to be is how these events unfold and what geometrics play within the design of this unfoldment. I do speak on that in various posts.

Kepler's Supernova

Four hundred years ago, sky watchers, including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler, were startled by the sudden appearance of a "new star" in the western sky, rivaling the brilliance of the nearby planets. Now, astronomers using NASA's three Great Observatories are unraveling the mysteries of the expanding remains of Kepler's supernova, the last such object seen to explode in our Milky Way galaxy.


See here for link to this story.


This combined image -- from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and e Chandra X-ray Observatory -- unveils a bubble-shaped shroud of gas and dust that is 14 light-years wide and is expanding at 4 million miles per hour (2,000 kilometers per second). Observations from each telescope highlight distinct features of the supernova remnant, a fast-moving shell of iron-rich material from the exploded star, surrounded by an expanding shock wave that is sweeping up interstellar gas and dust.


By designing the types of satellites we wish to use to measure, we create the image of the events as beautiful pictures of unfoldment within our universe as seen above. Maybe you can see something in "the theory proposed of SN1987a pictures" that will help understand what I mean?

When one is doing mathematical work, there are essentially two different ways of thinking about the subject: the algebraic way, and the geometric way. With the algebraic way, one is all the time writing down equations and following rules of deduction, and interpreting these equations to get more equations. With the geometric way, one is thinking in terms of pictures; pictures which one imagines in space in some way, and one just tries to get a feeling for the relationships between the quantities occurring in those pictures. Now, a good mathematician has to be a master of both ways of those ways of thinking, but even so, he will have a preference for one or the other; I don't think he can avoid it. In my own case, my own preference is especially for the geometrical way. Paul Dirac


This universe has events at a time in space, which allows us to construct this event as as geometrical function. Some of the values seen in the microscopic world have placed an interesting role for me in how I see this relationship of what unfolds within our microperspective views, as to what is on display in our cosmos.

The Bohr model is a primitive model of the hydrogen atom. As a theory, it can be derived as a first-order approximation of the hydrogen atom using the broader and much more accurate quantum mechanics, and thus may be considered to be an obsolete scientific theory. However, because of its simplicity, and its correct results for selected systems (see below for application), the Bohr model is still commonly taught to introduce students to quantum mechanics.


While I appreciate these events in the cosmos I also needed to understand how such microperspective were motivating the geometry within that event, so it is not possible for me not to include the arrangements of the physics of reductionism and not compare it to these motivations that create these beautiful events

Update: It's 9:20 am and I was just over at Quasar9's blog and notice this entry in relation to SN1987a as well.