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Stepping into a Supernova

21 Dec 2018, 17:00 UTC
Stepping into a Supernova
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Title: Walking Through an Exploded Star: Rendering Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A into Virtual RealityAuthors: K.K. Arcand, E. Jiang, S. Price, M. Watzke, T. Sgouros, P. EdmondsFirst Author’s Institution: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, USAStatus: Published in Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal, open accessHow many of us have dreamed of flying among the stars? While interstellar travel is still a long way off, virtual reality can allow us to immerse ourselves in space and get up close to the astrophysical phenomena we point our telescopes at. The authors of today’s paper adapted a 3D model of a supernova remnant from Delaney and team into virtual reality.
How to make a supernova remnantSupernovae are violent explosions which occur when the cores of massive stars run out of fuel for nuclear fusion. The core is no longer supported, so it collapses into a neutron star or black hole. This releases an enormous amount of energy, propelling the outer layers of the star outwards and producing the brilliant brightening we know as a supernova. Over time, the layers of the star slow down and interact with the interstellar medium, producing the beautiful supernova remnants we can still see today.Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is a famous ...

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