Hubble Finds Companion Star Hidden for 21 Years in a Supernova’s Glare

Hubble Finds Companion Star Hidden for 21 Years in a Supernova's Glare

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered a companion star to a rare type of supernova. This observation confirms the theory that the explosion originated in a double-star system where one star fueled the mass-loss from the aging primary star.

This detection is the first time astronomers have been able to put constraints on the properties of the companion star in an unusual class of supernova called Type IIb. They were able to estimate the surviving star’s luminosity and mass, which provide insight into the conditions that preceded the explosion.

“A binary system is likely required to lose the majority of the primary star’s hydrogen envelope prior to the explosion. The problem is that, to date, direct observations of the predicted binary companion star have been difficult to obtain since it is so faint relative to the supernova itself,” said lead researcher Ori Fox of the University of California (UC) at Berkeley.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]

Space Calendar September 10 – September 16 2014

Space related activities and anniversaries for September 10 – September 16 2014. 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.

New iBooks Textbook Helps Visually Impaired Visit the Stars Through Touch and Sound

New iBooks Textbook Helps Visually Impaired Visit the Stars Through Touch and Sound

Children with visual disabilities can experience striking deep-space images like never before in a free, multi-touch iBooks textbook for the iPad entitled “Reach for the Stars: Touch, Look, Listen, Learn.” The book can be downloaded free from Apple’s iBooks Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reach-for-stars-touch-look/id763516126?mt=11.

Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) have teamed up with the SAS Corporation, the National Braille Press, and the National Federation of the Blind to create a book to inspire students of all abilities to pursue future careers in science. The book incorporates new assistive technologies to help the seeing impaired.

STScI astronomer Elena Sabbi worked with developers to translate colorful imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope into content accessible to all students, including students with visual disabilities.

The development of the iBooks textbook is funded by a Hubble education and public outreach grant.

[SOURCE: hubblesite.org]