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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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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.