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Kepler Solves Mystery of Fast and Furious Explosions

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Kepler Solves Mystery of Fast and Furious Explosions

Post by Dragon on Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:54 pm

The universe is so huge that it's estimated that a star explodes as a supernova once every second. Astronomers capture a small fraction of these detonations because they are comparatively short-lived, like fireflies flickering on a summer evening. After skyrocketing to a sudden peak in brightness, a supernova can take weeks to slowly fade away.

For the past decade astronomers have been befuddled by a more curious "flash-in-the-pan" that pops up and then disappears in just a few days, not weeks. It's called a Fast-Evolving Luminous Transient (FELT). Only a few FELTs have been seen in telescopic sky surveys because they are so brief.

Then along came NASA's Kepler Space Telescope that caught a FELT in the act. Kepler's outstanding ability to precisely record changes in the brightness of celestial objects was designed to look for planets across our galaxy. But a great spinoff from the observatory is to go supernova hunting too.

Continued...
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Re: Kepler Solves Mystery of Fast and Furious Explosions

Post by Dragon on Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:57 pm


Illustration: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

Space Observatory Captures the Details of an Unusual Stellar Detonation.

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Re: Kepler Solves Mystery of Fast and Furious Explosions

Post by Dragon on Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:00 pm



The universe is so huge that it's estimated that a star explodes as a supernova once every second.



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Re: Kepler Solves Mystery of Fast and Furious Explosions

Post by Dragon on Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:01 pm



NASA's Kepler space telescope has captured the rare moment a dying star cocooned inside a dense shell of gas and dust violently exploded unlike a typical supernova.

The final explosion of the star, which happened about 1.3 billion light years away from earth, lasted only a few days – which is 10 times faster than a typical supernova.

 

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Re: Kepler Solves Mystery of Fast and Furious Explosions

Post by Dragon on Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:02 pm



The brilliant flash of an exploding star’s shockwave—what astronomers call the “shock breakout” -- is illustrated in this cartoon animation.

The animation begins with a view of a red supergiant star that is 500 times bigger and 20,000 brighter than our sun.

 

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