Astronomers have discovered a factory for the production of supernovae


06/10/2011

A team of astronomers from the Onsala Space Observatory and Chalmers discovered seven previously unknown in excess of the new stars in the galaxy age of 250 million years. Never before so many new stars above was not detected at the same time and in the same galaxy. Discovery confirmed the long-standing assumption of astronomers that the galaxies that are the most effective plants for the production of stars in the universe are also the birthplace of super novas.

The astronomers used a worldwide network of radio telescopes in five countries, including Sweden, in a similar way to create extremely sharp images of the galaxy Arp 220. Scientists observed by nearly 40 radio behind the center of the galaxy Arp 220. These radio sources are hidden behind thick layers of dust and gas and invisible to conventional telescopes. To determine the nature of these radio sources, the scientists made measurements at different wavelengths of radio waves and see how they have changed through the years.

"With all these in place, we can now be certain that all seven of these sources are supernovae: stars that have formed in the last 60 years" - said Fabien Batezhat (Fabien Batejat), the main author of the article about the opening. So many supernovae have never before been found in one galaxy. The number, however, corresponds to how fast the star formed Arp 220.

"In Arp 220, we see far more supernovae than in our galaxy. According to our calculations, the star is formed in Arp 220 once every quarter of the year. For the Milky Way, is characterized by only one supernova per century" - said Rodrigo Parra (Rodrigo Parra), an astronomer from the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

John Conway (John Conway), observational astronomy professor at Chalmers and deputy director of the Onsala Space Observatory said in a statement: "The galaxy Arp 220 is well known as the place is very efficient formation of stars. Now we have been able to show that star factories like this are also plants for the production of super novas. "

Radio sizes also help researchers better understand how radio waves are generated in supernovae and their remnants. "Our measurements show that the self-magnetic area over the new star itself and causes the radio emission, rather than the magnetic field, located in the galaxy around it" - said Fabien Batezhat. The results of the study will be published in the October issue of the journal "Astrophysical Journal".

In a research team of astronomers were Fabien Batezhat, John Conway and Ross Hurley of Onsala Space Observatory at Chalmers, and Rodrigo Parra from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Philip Diamond, Colin Lonsdale Heystek of the Observatory in the United States. The observations were made using telescopes that belong to the European VLBI Network with a network of VLBA. This network is a set of ten radio telescopes, relaying information from the State of Hawaii to the Virgin Islands in the U.S. and maintained by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Original: Sciencedaily Translation: M. Potter


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