Astrophysicists report radioactive cobalt in supernova explosionAugust 29, 2014
A group of astrophysicists, including researchers from MIPT, have detected the formation of radioactive cobalt during a supernova explosion, lending credence to a corresponding theory of supernova explosions. Details are given in the journal Nature, one of the most cited scientific publications in the world.
The article's main author, Yevgeny Churazov (Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences), together with his co-authors, including Sergei Sazonov of the Space Research Institute and MIPT, reported the results of their analysis of data collected with the INTEGRAL gamma-ray orbital telescope, which they used to detect the radioactive isotope cobalt-56(56Co).
Isotope 56Co has a half-life of just 77 days, and does not exist in normal conditions. However, during a giant thermonuclear explosion of a supernova, this short-lived radioactive isotope is produced in large quantities.
Radiating cobalt was registered at the supernova SN2014J, located 11 million light-years from Earth
Astrophysicists never obtained similar spectra before. The reason was the rarity of explosions at such a distance - 11 million light-years is a large value on the galactic scale (the diameter of a galaxy is about 100,000 light-years, the distance between stars is a few light-years), but on an intergalactic scale it is a relatively short distance. There are several hundreds of galaxies within a radius of ten million light-years; supernovae produce explosions like this (type Ia explosions) once every few centuries in a galaxy. For example, a type Ia supernova last exploded in the Milky Way in 1606.
SN2014J was registered on January 21, 2014 by astronomer Steve Fossey and a group of students from University College London in the galaxy M82. Fossey reported the discovery, and several observatories, including INTEGRAL, started observations immediately. Russian researchers spent a million seconds of their quota for the use of the INTEGRAL telescope to study the supernova. In addition to the spectra, they obtained data on how the brightness of radiation changes over time.
According to a theory that was developed earlier, during an explosion of the Ia type, the remnants of a star barely radiate in the gamma range the first dozens of days. The star's shell is opaque in this region of the spectrum; a supernova begins to produce gamma radiation only after the outer layer becomes sufficiently rarefied. By that time, radioactive nickel-56 with a half-life of 10 days, synthesized during the explosion, transforms into radioactive cobalt-56, the lines of which were detected by the researchers.
The essence of spectral analysis remains unchanged whatever the nature of radiation. For light, X-rays and even radio waves, scientists first plot a graph of a spectrum, or the relationship of intensity and frequency (or, equivalently, wavelength: wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency).
The graph's shape indicates the nature of the source of radiation and through what environment the radiation has passed. Spectral lines, or sharp peaks on such graphs, correspond to certain events like the emission or absorption of quanta by atoms during transition from one energy level to another.
During formation, cobalt-56 had a surplus of energy, exhausted in the form of gamma rays with energies of 847 keV and 1237keV; other isotopes produced radiation with quanta of different energies and thus could not be confused with cobalt-56.
The data collected by the INTEGRAL telescope also allowed the researchers to assess how much radioactive cobalt was emitted during the explosion - the equivalent of about 60% of the Sun's mass.
Over time, cobalt-56 turns into the most common isotope of iron, 56Fe.56Fe is the most common isotope because it can be obtained from nickel emitted during supernovae explosions (nickel turns into cobalt, and cobalt turns into iron).
Thus, the new results back up simulations of supernovae explosions and also confirm that our planet consists of matter that has gone through thermonuclear explosions of an astronomical scale.
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Related Supernova Articles:
For the first time in history, astronomers have been able to watch as a dying star was reborn as a black hole.
Galaxies bend light through an effect called gravitational lensing that helps astronomers peer deeper into the cosmos.
Pre-supernova stars may show signs of instability for months before the big explosion
Astronomers have used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to observe the remnant of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
This image, taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shows the supernova remnant SNR 0509-68.7, also known as N103B.
Three decades ago, astronomers spotted one of the brightest exploding stars in more than 400 years.
Long-term observations with the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that Eta Carinae, a very massive star system that has puzzled astronomers since it erupted in a supernova-like event in the mid 19th century, has a past that's much more violent than they thought.
An international collaboration led by the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe have discovered that the color of supernovae during a specific phase could be an indicator for detecting the most distant and oldest supernovae in the Universe -- more than 13 billion years old.
Traces of 60Fe detected in space indicate that a nearby supernova occurred within the last few million years.
Approximately two million years ago a star exploded in a supernova close to our solar system: Its traces can still be found today in the form of an iron isotope found on the ocean floor.
Related Supernova Reading:
Supernova (Amulet #8)
by Kazu Kibuishi (Author)
Emily has lost control of her Amulet and is imprisoned in the Void, where she must find a way to escape the influence of the Voice. Meanwhile, Emily's brother, Navin, travels to Lighthouse One, a space station where the Resistance is preparing to battle the approaching Shadow forces that would drain planet Alledia of all its resources. Emily and Navin must be smarter and stronger than ever to ensure Alledia's survival. View Details
The Supernova Advisor: Crossing the Invisible Bridge to Exceptional Client Service and Consistent Growth
by Rob Knapp (Author)
The Supernova Model is a client service, client acquisition, and practice management model that drives an explosive acceleration in revenue and client satisfaction by capitalizing upon the 80/20 Rule. First implemented by financial advisors at Merrill Lynch—under the leadership of author Rob Knapp—it has grown increasingly popular within the financial services industry. The Supernova Advisor skillfully outlines this proven model and reveals how it can be used to create an exceptional experience for your clients, while significantly growing your business. View Details
Supernova: The Knight, the Princess and the Falling Star
by Dewi Lestari (Author), Harry Aveling (Translator)
Supernova: The Knight, The Princess and the Falling Star presents a series of intertwined and unconventional love stories, straight and gay, with a bit of science and spirituality added to the mix. The major characters are young, urban, and technologically highly aware. They are caught up in major forms of contemporary social conflict.
The work has been highly acclaimed. The poet Taufiq Ismail has written: "A renewal has taken place in Indonesian literature over the past decade. Supernova is an intelligent, unique and truly exciting exploration of science, spirituality and... View Details
Supernova (Supernatural Superstar Book 1)
When the only place to hide is in the spotlight...
On the run from the shifter cult that kidnapped her and stole her memories, Audrey is resigned to living her life in the shadows. The cult is raising a dark power that will bring on the end of the world, but to complete the ritual, they need Audrey.
Offered protection by the mercurial president of a talent agency, in exchange Audrey agrees to join pop supergroup, Supernova, alongside the infuriatingly beautiful Thomas Thorne.
Audrey soon learns the president is sitting on enough supernatural... View Details
Supernova (The Lightless Trilogy)
by C.A. Higgins (Author)
C. A. Higgins’s acclaimed novel Lightless fused suspenseful storytelling, high-caliber scientific speculation, and richly developed characters into a stunning science fiction epic. Now the dazzling Supernova heightens the thrills and deepens the haunting exploration of technology and humanity—and the consequences that await when the two intersect.
Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it—her—into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god—and all the... View Details
Supernova Advisor Teams: A Pathway to Excellence
by Curtis C. Brown Jr. (Author), Robert D. Knapp (Author)
Strengthen and unify your Financial Advisor Team
Teams are the principle building blocks of the strategy of successful organizations. The focus of your organization may be on service, quality, cost, value, speed, efficiency, performance, or any other similar goals, but teams remain the central methodology of most organizations across sectors.
Vertical teams and horizontal teams can transcend organizational silos and boundaries if properly focused and supported. Building collaborative teams can improve the client experience. In Supernova Teams; Effective Team... View Details
Supernova Explosions (Astronomy and Astrophysics Library)
by David Branch (Author), J. Craig Wheeler (Author)
Targeting advanced students of astronomy and physics, as well as astronomers and physicists contemplating research on supernovae or related fields, David Branch and J. Craig Wheeler offer a modern account of the nature, causes and consequences of supernovae, as well as of issues that remain to be resolved.
Owing especially to (1) the appearance of supernova 1987A in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud, (2) the spectacularly successful use of supernovae as distance indicators for cosmology, (3) the association of some supernovae with the enigmatic cosmic gamma-ray bursts, and (4) the... View Details
SUPERNOVA SEARCH ATLAS and GUIDE
by Clay Sherrod (Author)
Finally, here is YOUR blueprint to discovery in astronomy. Today's non-professional astronomers with well-equipped observatories - advanced amateurs, colleges, institutions - are now contributing more than ever to fascinating discoveries throughout space. These private facilities now contribute thousands of observations and discoveries yearly into the scientific database. One such endeavor is that of supernovae searches, exploring distant galaxies in wait for these rare stellar explosions seen from millions of light years away. But where do we look? Current sources were lacking to detail the... View Details
Stellar Evolution, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Nucleogenesis (Dover Books on Physics)
by A.G.W. Cameron (Author), David Miles Kahl (Editor), Jordi Jose Prof. (Editor)
"The content of this work, which was independently presented by Burbidge, Burbidge, Fowler, and Hoyle in 1957, represents one of the major advances in the natural sciences in the twentieth century. It effectively answered, in one fell swoop, several interrelated questions that humans have been asking since the beginning of inquiry, such as 'What are stars?' 'How does the sun shine?' 'Why is gold so rare?' 'Where did the elements in our world and in our bodies come from?'" — Alan A. Chen, Associate Professor, McMaster University
Harvard professor A. G. W. Cameron — who helped develop... View Details
by Diane Anthony (Author)
Madeline Hayes is a twenty-three-year-old librarian who is content with her simple life in a small town. But when she wakes up in the front yard with no memory of why she's there, suddenly her life becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.
A worldwide blackout, an astronomic death toll, and strange superpowers are just the beginning of Madeline's troubles.
What would a worldwide calamity look like in small town America?
To what lengths will she go to discover her superpower?
What if there's a catch? Will scientists be able to find a cure to the ominous side... View Details