Starry picture

Published: Friday 31 March 2000

Supernovae are among the most spectacular events in our Universe. In a very short period, a star gives out energy that is equivalent to the energy given out by a whole galaxy. Unfortunately, our knowledge about the violent processes druing a supernova is still very sketchy. Now, astronomers have put together a portrait of a star in our galaxy that blew up 300 years ago, revealing a supernova with parts of its deepest core hurled into space. The images taken by NASA's newly-launched Chandra X-ray Observatory promise to unravel the violent processes by which giant stars give out heavy elements into space during their death throes ( Astrophysical Journal Letters , Vol 529, No 1)

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.