Star Go Boom!

August 26, 2011 at 8:57 PM (astronomy topics, curious research, current news, extraterrestrial studies, late night studies, science and technology)

The fantastic event of a supernova has occurred, recently!  Albeit twenty-one million light years away, astronomers were able to view this rare celestial event from Earth.  The event is being studied to gain any details that are available.

The star labeled as PTF 11kly was located within The Pinwheel Galaxy.  This is located between twenty-one million and twenty-five million light years from us.  Scientific labelings for this galaxy include Messier 101 and NGC 5457.  It is a spiral galaxy, nearly similar to our Milky Way.  Astronomer Pierre Méchain discovered it during 1781.

This explosion is a Type 1a supernova.  PTF 11kly was a white dwarf, a star that is roughly the size of our planet.  However, it’s gravitational pull equals that of a yellow dwarf, a G-type main-sequence star, like our Sun.  This star finally reached an excessive weight limit to where it could not sustain itself anymore.  It’s mass caused it to collapse inward, then it exploded!

It will have no actual effect on us, as it is so far away.  Yet, it will be visible telescopically, as it virtually is near, in relation to distances of spacetime.  This closeness allows astronomers to view PTF 11kly from the time that the explosion actually occurred.  Most stars that have gone supernova have been to distant to study from the instant moments of their explosions!

This supernova was discovered at The Palomar Transient Factory.  Here, the telescopes are designed to observe moving and changing objects within outer space.  It’s goals are to view various stars, supernovae, extrasolar planets, and other varied celestial phenomena.  Other scientific sites proceeded to view this event, including The Hubble Space Telescope.

Type Ia Supernova PTF 11kly


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