Basic Information for the Most Severe Explosions in Space ...
A supernova is the phenomenon of a star exploding violently. These explosions are so violent that one of the biggest explosions in space is supernovae. Due to the energy released during a typical supernova explosion, a brighter ball of light can emerge from the light emitted by all the galaxies, and more energy is released into space as our Sun will emit in its total lifetime of 8 billion years.
Supernovas are so suddenly experienced that a spot that was not in the sky just a few hours ago could shine like a lighthouse in a few hours! But supernovas seen in the sky are not like other stars in the sky: they are now leftovers from a dead star ...
Where to find Supernovae?
We often see supernovae in other galaxies; Because of the dense cloud of dust in the Milky Way, we rarely observe supernovae in our own galaxy.
The oldest observation for supernovae, MS. It was built in 185 by Chinese astronomers. The supernova observed by these astronomers is thought to be a supernova named RCW 86 . However, very few supernovas were observed between this date and the 17th century; because telescopes have not been invented yet.
Despite this, the most famous supernova observed between these two dates is the supernova, which was found in 1054 in the records of Chinese and Korean astronomers simultaneously, forming the dust cloud known as Crab Nebula . According to historical data, Native Americans have also observed and recorded this explosion (we can find traces of them in rock paintings in the states of Arizona and New Mexico). This supernova was so intense that it was possible to see the light in the sky even during the day!
Other supernovas observed before the invention of telescopes were recorded in 393, 1006, 1181, 1572 and 1604. The supernova in 1572 was closely examined by the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe . Brahe recorded this "new star" in his book under the name De nova stella - the word " nova " called "supernova" actually comes from here.
What's the Difference Between Nova and Supernova?
However, a nova and a supernova are different astronomical events. Although bright lights scatter as a result of the rapid burst of hot gases in both, the event we call supernova is extremely destructive and, unlike other novae, it means the death of a star.
The word Supernova was not put into use until the 1930s. Originally used by Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky , this word was used in reference to the supernova S Andromedae (or SN 1885A ) , which the duo observed at Mount Wilson Observatory . This explosion took place within the Andromeda Galaxy, and the duo who observed it claimed that the incident they observed was what happened to an ordinary star that turned into a neutron star.
One of the famous supernovae observed in more modern times is the SN 1987A supernova. Observations for this explosion have been going on since 1987, so researchers have the opportunity to observe what's going on in the first few decades after a supernova has occurred.
In 1604, Johannes Kepler discovered the last supernova observed in the Milky Way Galaxy. NASA's Chandra Telescope also managed to observe the remains of another supernova that exploded more recently. This supernova that Chandra observed was at least 100 years ago in the Milky Way Galaxy.
What Causes Supernova Incident?
A supernova occurs when there is a change in the core or center of a star. This change, resulting in the supernova we are talking about, can occur in two different ways:
The first supernova type takes place in binary star systems . Binary stars, as can be understood from their name, is the name given to two stars that revolve around the same point. If one of these duo is a white dwarf with a carbon-oxygen structure, it steals matter from the star with its twin. In the end, the star explodes violently in this white dwarf, and ultimately, because of the excessive accumulation of matter, and the event we call supernova is experienced.
The second type of supernova appears at the end of a single star's life. When the star's nuclear fuel is depleted, part of its mass flows into its core. Eventually, the nucleus becomes so heavy that it cannot withstand its gravitational force. Accordingly, the nucleus collapses and as a result of this collapse, the explosion we call supernova is experienced. What remains of this explosion is a neutron star with an overly dense celestial body . Although these stars are the size of a city, they contain as much material as the Sun!
However, in order to experience a Type-2 supernova, a star must be at least 15 times larger than the Sun (according to estimates). So the mass decides exactly how a star will die. For example, if you are curious about the situation for our Sun: The Sun is a single star; There is no twin. So it is impossible to create the first type of supernova. But we do not expect to see the second type of supernova; because the Sun's mass is too small to cause such an explosion.
How Often Do Supernovas Live?
Supernovas are statistically experienced once every 50 years in galaxies the size of the Milky Way Galaxy . In other words, every second in the Universe, a star explodes somewhere, and not all of these explosions are far from Earth. For example, a series of supernovas that occurred about 10 million years ago created an interstellar medium, known as Local Bubble , that is 300 light-years wide and groundnut-shaped, surrounding the Solar System.
Why Do Scientists Examine Supernovae?
A supernova shines for a very short time, but even during this brief explosion it can enable scientists to learn a lot about the Universe.
For example, one of the supernovas showed the fact that we live in an ever-expanding Universe. Not only that; this enabled us to verify that the rate of expansion is increasing.
Similarly, experts showed that before the supernovas, the stars flickered as if they were a gigantic speaker and made a detectable hum. For example, in 2008, scientists managed to catch a supernova for the first time in an explosion. Discovering Alicia Soderberg and her teammates, while waiting for a little glow on the observation screen, observed a strange and extremely bright X-ray rain that lasted for 5 minutes. In this way, we were able to learn more about the nature of the stars.
In addition, supernovae play a key role in the distribution of elements to the Universe. When the star bursts, elements and debris are scattered into space. For example, most of the elements on Earth are produced in the nucleus of stars that once lived. These elements, scattered around the Universe as a result of Supernovas, make it possible for new stars, planets and everything else in the Universe to form.
How Scientists at NASA Investigate Supernovae
Scientists at NASA use different types of telescopes to search for supernovae and conduct research on them. For example, some telescopes are used to observe the visible wavelength light scattered during the explosion. Some other telescopes record wavelengths such as X-rays and gamma rays produced during supernovae . The most famous of these telescopes are the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, which have enabled us to observe supernovae to date.
In June 2012, NASA launched the first telescope into orbit, focusing on the high energy region of the electromagnetic light spectrum. This telescope, called NuSTAR , was produced to perform many tasks. Among these tasks is to identify stars and black holes collapsing on itself . This telescope will also investigate remnants left over from supernovae. Thanks to these studies, scientists hope to learn more about how stars explode and what elements are produced after supernovae.
How Can You Help?
You don't have to be a scientist or even a telescope to hunt Supernova! For example, in 2008, a teenager discovered a supernova. Then, in January 2011, a 10-year-old girl from Canada discovered a new supernova while looking at the night-time sky photos on her computer. It was he who noticed that there was a supernova in the images shot by an amateur astronomer!
With a little practice and the right equipment (or photos) you can also discover a supernova! For example, the Zooniverse project has completed 1.8 million classifications of 19,129 individual objects with the participation of 7153 volunteers who want to contribute to science.