- News Home
10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
- About Us
ScienceShot: Exploding Star Concealed by Dust
12 October 2010 5:11 pm
If a star explodes behind a dust cloud, will anyone see it? Astronomers did, but at first they weren't sure what they were looking at. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope to search for a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy, the team discovered something unexpected: a cloud of hot dust--much hotter than normal. After further study, the scientists concluded that the heat had been caused by the explosion of a star at least 50 times more massive than our sun. But before the star went supernova, it twice ejected gas into space. Eventually the gas condensed into dust, and the dust absorbed the blinding light of the explosion, converting it to heat, which appeared as infrared radiation to Spitzer's detectors, the team reports online this month in The Astrophysical Journal. Astronomers figure that in about a decade, the remnants of the star blasted out into space by the supernova will slam into the first dust cloud. If it does, x-ray telescopes should detect the effects, and a previously unobserved type of supernova will be confirmed.
See more ScienceShots.