Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stellar Explosion Displays Massive Carbon Footprint

Date:
June 2, 2009
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
While humans are still struggling to get rid of unwanted carbon it appears that the heavens are really rather good at it. New research by astrophysicists has discovered that a mystery stellar explosion recorded in 2006 may have marked the unusual death of an equally unusually carbon-rich star.

SCP 06F6. New research by astrophysicists at the University of Warwick has discovered that a mystery stellar explosion recorded in 2006 may have marked the unusual death of an equally unusually carbon-rich star.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and K. Barbary (University of California, Berkeley)

While humans are still struggling to get rid of unwanted carbon it appears that the heavens are really rather good at it. New research by astrophysicists at the University of Warwick has discovered that a mystery stellar explosion recorded in 2006 may have marked the unusual death of an equally unusually carbon-rich star.

The strange object known as SCP 06F6 was first noted in 2006 by supernovae researchers in the US taking images with the Hubble Space Telescope, seeing it appearing out of nowhere, and fading again into oblivion, over the course of 120 days.  The US team published their observations in September 2008, drawing a blank on the nature of SCP 06F6, in particular it was unclear if this event happened in our cosmic backyard, or at the other end of the universe.

Now a team of astrophysicists and astronomers at the University of Warwick in the UK believe they have come up with an answer. According to their research, the observations of SCP 06F6 bear remarkable resemblance to a group of stars containing extremely large proportions of carbon, hence dubbed carbon stars. However, to achieve the close match, SCP 06F6 must be at a distance of around 2 billion light years, causing a considerable redshift in its appearance. Given the large distance, the sudden appearance of SCP 06F6 is most likely related to the sudden death of a carbon-rich star, and the Warwick team believes that this object may be a new type of a totally new class of supernova. 

It would be an unusual type of supernovae in several aspects: SCP 06F6 is located in a blank part of the sky, with no known visible host galaxy. If the star did explode as a normal type II supernova why then did it take up to four times as long to brighten and diminish as other  such supernova and why did emit up to 100 times more X-rays energy than expected? The X-ray energy might lead one to speculate that the star was ripped apart by a black hole rather than exploding on its own, but the lead researcher of University of Warwick team Boris Gδnsicke says that idea is not without its problems as:

“The lack of any obvious host galaxy for SCP 06F6  would imply either a very low black hole mass (if black holes do exist at the centres of dwarf irregular galaxies) or that the black hole has somehow been ejected from its host galaxy. While neither is impossible this does make the case for disruption by a black hole somewhat contrived.”

“Several new telescopes are now being designed and built that will continuously monitor the entire sky for short guest appearances of new stars, and there is no doubt that SCP 06F6 will not remain alone in puzzling astronomers over the coming years.“


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Boris Gaensicke, Andrew Levan, Thomas Marsh, and Dr Peter Wheatley. SCP06F6: A carbon-rich extragalactic transient at redshift z~0.14? Astrophysical Journal Letters, June 1, 2009

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Stellar Explosion Displays Massive Carbon Footprint." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601090033.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2009, June 2). Stellar Explosion Displays Massive Carbon Footprint. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601090033.htm
University of Warwick. "Stellar Explosion Displays Massive Carbon Footprint." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090601090033.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Study Says The Moon Was Deformed Early In Its History

New Study Says The Moon Was Deformed Early In Its History

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Scientists say when the moon was young, it was deformed by the Earth's gravitational pull, which gave it a lemon-like shape. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

AFP (July 30, 2014) — The European Space Agency's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is takes off to the International Space Station on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

AP (July 30, 2014) — Arianespace launched a rocket Tuesday from French Guiana carrying a robotic cargo ship to deliver provisions to the International Space Station. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) — Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins