Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Astronomers reveal supernova factory

Date:
October 2, 2011
Source:
Chalmers University of Technology
Summary:
A team of astronomers has detected seven previously unknown supernovae in a galaxy 250 million light years away. Never before have so many supernovae been discovered at the same time in the same galaxy.

Galaxy Arp 220 (main image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope) with some of its newly discovered supernovae (inset, taken with Global VLBI). The inset image is 250 light years across.
Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team, Chalmers

A team led by astronomers at Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory has detected seven previously unknown supernovae in a galaxy 250 million light years away. Never before have so many supernovae been discovered at the same time in the same galaxy. The discovery proves what astronomers have long believed: that the galaxies which are the universe's most efficient star-factories are also supernova factories.

The astronomers used a worldwide network of radio telescopes in five countries, including Sweden, to be able to create extremely sharp images of the galaxy Arp 220. The scientists observed around 40 radio sources in the center of the galaxy Arp 220. These radio sources are hidden behind thick layers of dust and gas and invisible in ordinary telescopes. To discover the nature of these radio sources, they made measurements at different radio wavelengths and watched how they changed over several years.

"With all the data in place, we can now be certain that all seven of these sources are supernovae: stars that exploded in the last 60 years," says Fabien Batejat, main author of the article about the discovery.

So many supernovae have never before been detected in the same galaxy. The number is nevertheless consistent with how fast stars are forming in Arp 220.

"In Arp 220, we see far more supernovae than in our galaxy. We estimate that a star explodes in Arp 220 once every quarter. In the Milky Way, there is only one supernova per century," says Rodrigo Parra, astronomer at the European Southern Observatory in Chile and member of the team.

John Conway is professor of observational radio astronomy at Chalmers and deputy director of Onsala Space Observatory.

"Arp 220 is well-known as a place where star formation is very efficient. Now we have been able to show that star factories like this are also supernova factories," he says.

The radio measurements have also given researchers insight into how radio waves are generated in supernovae and their remnants.

"Our measurements show that a supernova's own magnetic field is what gives rise to its radio emission, not the magnetic fields in the galaxy around it," says Fabien Batejat.

The results will be published in the October 20 issue of the journal Astrophysical Journal.

The team is composed of Fabien Batejat, John Conway and Rossa Hurley from Onsala Space Observatory at Chalmers, Rodrigo Parra (European Southern Observatory, ESO, Santiago, Chile), Philip Diamond (CSIRO, Sydney, Australia), Colin J. Lonsdale (MIT Haystack Observatory, USA) and Carol J. Lonsdale (North American Alma Science Center, NRAO, Charlottesville, USA).

The observations were carried out using telescopes which belong to the European VLBI Network (EVN) together with the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The VLBA is a set of ten radio telescopes located from Hawaii to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Fabien Batejat, John E. Conway, Rossa Hurley, Rodrigo Parra, Philip J. Diamond, Colin J. Lonsdale, Carol J. Lonsdale. Resolution of the Compact Radio Continuum Sources in Arp220. Astrophysical Journal, 2011; (in press)

Cite This Page:

Chalmers University of Technology. "Astronomers reveal supernova factory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930071705.htm>.
Chalmers University of Technology. (2011, October 2). Astronomers reveal supernova factory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930071705.htm
Chalmers University of Technology. "Astronomers reveal supernova factory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930071705.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA Chief Outlines Plan for Human Mission to Mars

NASA Chief Outlines Plan for Human Mission to Mars

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) NASA administrator Charles Bolden, speaking at the 'Human to Mars Summit' in Washington, says that learning more about the Red Planet can help answer the 'fundamental question' of 'life beyond Earth'. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nasa Gives You An Excuse to Post a Selfie on Earth Day

Nasa Gives You An Excuse to Post a Selfie on Earth Day

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) NASA is inviting all social media users to take a selfie of themselves alongside nature and to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, or Google Plus with the hashtag #globalselfie. NASA's goal is to crowd-source a collection of snapshots of the earth, ground-up, that will be used to create one "unique mosaic of the Blue Marble." This image will be available to all in May. Since this is probably one of the few times posting a selfie to Twitter won't be embarrassing, we suggest you give it a go for a good cause. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 20, 2014) SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft makes a scheduled Easter Sunday rendezvous with the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station

Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station

AP (Apr. 20, 2014) Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The SpaceX company's cargo ship, Dragon, spent two days chasing the International Space Station following its launch from Cape Canaveral. (April 20) 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