Odd Supernova May Revise Star Evolution Theory

A neat piece of detective work to trace the roots of an exploded star has turned up a deeper mystery: why the victim, which turned out to be a beast of star more than 50 times bigger than our sun, didn’t disappear into a black hole, as prevailing theories of stellar evolution predict, and why it exploded in the first place.

Odd Supernova May Revise Star Evolution Theory

The story begins with a dead body — the remains of an exploded star spotted in the galaxy NGC 266 on Oct. 5, 2005. It was designated SN (for supernova) 2005gl.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Hubble Uncovers an Unusual Stellar Progenitor to a Supernova

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has identified a star that was one million times brighter than the sun before it exploded as a supernova in 2005. According to current theories of stellar evolution, the star should not have self-destructed so early in its life. "This might mean that we are fundamentally wrong about the evolution of massive stars, and that theories need revising," says Avishay Gal-Yam of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Hubble Uncovers an Unusual Stellar Progenitor to a Supernova

The doomed star, which is estimated to have weighed about 100 times our sun’s mass, was not mature enough, according to theory, to have evolved a massive iron core of nuclear fusion ash. This is the prerequisite for a core implosion that triggers a supernova blast.

The finding appears today in the online version of Nature Magazine.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar March 23 – March 29 2009

Space related activities and anniversaries for March 23 – March 29 2009. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Quadruple Saturn Moon Transit Snapped by Hubble

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Hubble Provides New Evidence for Dark Matter Around Small Galaxies

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a strong new line of evidence that galaxies are embedded in halos of dark matter.

Hubble Provides New Evidence for Dark Matter Around Small Galaxies

Peering into the tumultuous heart of the nearby Perseus galaxy cluster, Hubble discovered a large population of small galaxies that have remained intact while larger galaxies around them are being ripped apart by the gravitational tug of other galaxies.

Dark matter is an invisible form of matter that accounts for most of the universe’s mass. Astronomers have deduced the existence of dark matter by observing its gravitational influence on normal matter, consisting of stars, gas, and dust.

The Hubble images provide further evidence that the undisturbed galaxies are enshrouded by a "cushion" of dark matter, which protects them from their rough-and-tumble neighborhood.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar March 16 – March 22 2009

Space related activities and anniversaries for March 16 – March 22 2009. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Kepler Telescope to Launch Tonight

NASA is preparing to launch the Kepler space telescope Friday to help answer a question that has boggled the minds of astronomers for centuries: is Earth the only habitable planet in the galaxy?

Kepler Telescope to Launch Tonight

“This mission attempts to answer a question that is as old as time itself — are other planets like ours out there?” said Ed Weiler, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

“It’s not just a science mission, it’s an historical mission.”

Kepler will stare at the same spot in space for three and a half years, taking in about 100,000 stars around the Cygnus and Lyra constellations of the Milky Way.

[SOURCE: discovery.com]

Space Calendar March 9 – March 15 2009

Space related activities and anniversaries for March 9 – March 15 2009. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.

Trio of Galaxies Mix It Up

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar March 6 – March 12 2009

Space related activities and anniversaries for March 6 – March 12 2009. Fetched live every week from NASA JPL

If you want the complete list going more than a year ahead then see the Space Calendar at NASA JPL.