- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- 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.