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Astronomers discover new kind of supernova
PhysOrg ^ | 3/26/13

Posted on 03/26/2013 3:17:46 PM PDT by LibWhacker

Astronomers discover new kind of supernova

March 26, 2013

Astronomers discover new kind of supernova

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This artist's conception shows the suspected progenitor of a new kind of supernova called Type Iax. Material from a hot, blue helium star at right is funneling toward a carbon/oxygen white dwarf star at left, which is embedded in an accretion disk. In many cases the white dwarf survives the subsequent explosion. Credit: Christine Pulliam (CfA)

(Phys.org) —Supernovae were always thought to occur in two main varieties. But a team of astronomers including Carnegie's Wendy Freedman, Mark Phillips and Eric Persson is reporting the discovery of a new type of supernova called Type Iax.

This research has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and is available online.

Previously, supernovae were divided into either core-collapse or Type Ia categories. Core-collapse supernovae are the explosion of a star about 10 to 100 times as massive as our sun. Type Ia supernovae are the complete disruption of a tiny white dwarf.

This new type, Iax, is fainter and less energetic than Type Ia. Although both types come from exploding , Type Iax supernovas may not completely destroy the white dwarf.

"A Type Iax supernova is essentially a mini supernova," says lead author Ryan Foley, Clay Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). "It's the runt of the supernova litter."

The research team—which also included Max Stritzinger, formerly of Carnegie—identified 25 examples of the new type of supernova. None of them appeared in , which are filled with old stars. This suggests that Type Iax supernovas come from young star systems.

Based on a variety of observational data, the team concluded that a Type Iax supernova comes from a containing a white dwarf and a that has lost its outer hydrogen, leaving it helium dominated. The white dwarf collects helium from the normal star.

Researchers aren't sure what triggers a Type Iax. It's possible that the outer helium layer ignites first, sending a shock wave into the white dwarf. Alternatively, the white dwarf might ignite first due to the influence of the overlying helium shell.

Either way, it appears that in many cases the white dwarf survives the explosion, unlike in a Type Ia supernova where the white dwarf is completely destroyed.

The team calculates that Type Iax supernovae are about a third as common as Type Ia supernovae. The reason so few have been detected is that the faintest are only one-hundredth as bright as a .

"The closer we look, the more ways we find for stars to explode," Phillips said. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope could discover thousands of Type Iax supernovas over its lifetime.

Journal reference: Astrophysical Journal search and more info website

Provided by Carnegie Institution for Science search and more info website


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: astronomers; catastrophism; discover; new; stringtheory; supernova; type; typeiax; xplanets

1 posted on 03/26/2013 3:17:46 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

cool, very interesting. thanks


2 posted on 03/26/2013 3:22:20 PM PDT by Smartisan
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To: LibWhacker
A helium-dominated star is contrasted with a "normal" star? Who are we to judge?

Smash hydrogenonormity!

3 posted on 03/26/2013 3:33:13 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: SunkenCiv

*ping*


4 posted on 03/26/2013 3:37:59 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: LibWhacker

aka the “Super-duperNova”


5 posted on 03/26/2013 3:44:52 PM PDT by JaguarXKE (Welcome to the new America.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj; brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; ...

Thanks fieldmarshaldj, a four-list pingworthy topic if ever there was one.


6 posted on 03/26/2013 4:12:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...
Thanks fieldmarshaldj.



7 posted on 03/26/2013 4:12:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
Thanks fieldmarshaldj.
 
X-Planets
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8 posted on 03/26/2013 4:12:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: 6SJ7; AdmSmith; AFPhys; Arkinsaw; allmost; aristotleman; autumnraine; Beowulf; Bones75; BroJoeK; ...
Thanks fieldmarshaldj.

· String Theory Ping List ·
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9 posted on 03/26/2013 4:13:09 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: LibWhacker

10 posted on 03/26/2013 4:44:16 PM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: LibWhacker

A champagne supernova?


11 posted on 03/26/2013 4:45:34 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: LibWhacker
Material from a hot, blue helium star at right is funneling toward a carbon/oxygen white dwarf star …

None of them appeared in elliptical galaxies, which are filled with old stars. This suggests that Type Iax supernovas come from young star systems.

Somebody help me out here. Wouldn’t a carbon/oxygen white dwarf star be a second generation star? Are second generation stars consistent with young systems?

12 posted on 03/26/2013 5:24:25 PM PDT by kitchen (Due to the increased price of ammo, do not expect a warning shot.)
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To: LibWhacker

Can’t all these supernova’s just get along?


13 posted on 03/26/2013 5:26:00 PM PDT by Bullish (A genuine President wouldn't allow the Obama's on the White House grounds)
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To: SunkenCiv

I thought caastrophism only involved us Humans?


14 posted on 03/26/2013 5:47:33 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: kitchen

I believe you are right. If I understand things correctly, elements of the periodic table, up to and including carbon, can be created in stars. No problem. Elements heavier than that, of which oxygen is one, can only be created in a supernova. But as you seem to suspect, a “young” system need not be a first generation system; i.e., ‘young’ in this context only means the star in question formed recently. The cloud of gas and dust, out of which it formed, may have contained heavy elements that were thrown out by an older supernova.


15 posted on 03/26/2013 5:55:35 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

Cool!


16 posted on 03/26/2013 6:04:45 PM PDT by left that other site (Worry is the darkroom that developes negatives.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Hey, I had raw broccoli for lunch, okay? ;’)


17 posted on 03/26/2013 6:19:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: kitchen

Not sure, but I think it’s possible for a star to start fusing helium into carbon & oxygen when it runs out of hydrogen.


18 posted on 03/26/2013 6:20:38 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: LibWhacker

Is it “gay?” (Seems like everything else is....)


19 posted on 03/26/2013 7:00:56 PM PDT by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
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To: Squawk 8888; LibWhacker
Hey, thanks.

Another thing that bothers me, isn't the plural of nova novae? Sorry, I took Greek rather than Latin, so I can't say for sure. Maybe I remember the spelling from my epoch 1970 Nortons.

20 posted on 03/26/2013 7:08:24 PM PDT by kitchen (Due to the increased price of ammo, do not expect a warning shot.)
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To: kitchen

Seems to be novae every time I see it in the literature. But for someone with my background (strictly low class blue collar), that’s too uppity for me! Depending on whom (yikes!) I’m talking to, I’ll almost always say novas.


21 posted on 03/26/2013 7:18:38 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: kitchen

You’re correct, the plural is novae. Most journalists are not well-versed in grammar, spelling, Latin or Greek. Don’t get me started about how they mangle homonyms.


22 posted on 03/26/2013 7:30:55 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: LibWhacker
As a coal miner, I guess you could call me a black collar worker.
23 posted on 03/27/2013 12:34:39 PM PDT by kitchen (Due to the increased price of ammo, do not expect a warning shot.)
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