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Supernova Archeology with Radioactive Eyes

13 Jun 2018, 14:49 UTC
Supernova Archeology with Radioactive Eyes
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Title: The distribution of radioactive 44Ti in Cassiopeia A
Authors: Brian Grefenstette et al.
First author institution: Caltech
Status: published in ApJ, open access version available

Today we have a guest post from Maria Arias, a third year PhD student at the University of Amsterdam. She studies supernova remnants at low radio frequencies with the LOFAR telescope. She’s always happy to take a break from data reduction, though, an go for a yoga class, a run, or a beer.
Massive stars die as core collapse supernovae: the star can no longer produce the nuclear reactions that balance its strong gravity, and the star collapses onto its core. When this happens, large amounts of energy and neutrons are available to form elements heavier than iron. The distribution of elements produced in the deepest layers of the star as it goes supernova is key to understanding the mechanism by which the collapse of the star leads to an explosion.Radioactive decay powers the optical light emitted by the supernova ~ 50−100 days after the explosion. In fact, we can still see radioactive signatures in remnants that are hundreds of years old. In today’s paper, the authors use high energy X-ray satellite ...

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