STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists have looked back at Supernova 1987A celebrating the 30th anniversary of the stellar burst. When a star transforms into a supernova, it spreads iron, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon into the universe. By developing a study on supernovae, researchers have also revealed that the world we live in is an expanding one. A massive supernova burst back on February 23, 1987, its light washing over our planet.
Due to its proximity to Terra, having been located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, the supernova has reached to be the most examined supernova for the last thirty years. It is situated at about 160,000 light-years from our planet. Since 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has observed the Supernova 1987A. Now, at the 30th anniversary of the supernova, the telescope has captured a new picture displaying the remnant of the SN 1987A.
The new image together with new data collected by the European Southern Observatory’s Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Chandra X-ray Observatory of Chandra have recently been unveiled. NASA claimed that the latest information received from these revolutionary telescopes suggest that supernova 1987A has overcome a significant phase.
The shock wave from the supernova is moving beyond the thick ring of gas deployed during the life of that star. Back then, a fast wind coming from the pre-supernova star clashed with a slower wind which was previously developed in an early stage of the evolution of the star. Scientists did not reveal yet what lies beyond that gas ring.
In the past few years, this ring started to fade. It formed back in 1999, and it gradually increased to be brighter in X-rays. NASA claimed that starting with February 2013 until September 2015, the amount of low-energy X-rays stayed the same. All the changes which were recorded indicate the blast wave of this explosion surpassed the ring, reaching an area in which the dense gas was decreased.
This event represented “the end of an era for SN 1987.” Researchers argue that new analysis of supernovae 1987A could give them significant data regarding the early phases of elements’ dispersal throughout interstellar space. Before the explosion, the supernova was brighter than a hundred suns. But now, a remnant of a supernova slowly cools, and the elements which once formed it may create new molecules and transform into dust.
Image source: wikipedia