‘Unknown Pleasures’ as you’ve never seen it before…
When you look at the squiggly lines on Joy Division’s famous album cover, you’re seeing a record of lightning in outer space.
What’s left after a star explodes.
NASA/ESA/JHU/R.Sankrit & W.Blair via Wikimedia Commons.
By studying old and dead stars, we can discover what will happen to our sun in the far, far future. And it won’t end with a big explosion.
The good thing about space is that – even though it has lots of dangerous stuff floating in it, and lots of exploding stars – it’s so big and empty that it almost doesn’t matter.
Are there stars other than the Sun that might explode soon close to us? Yes, there are! As long as by ‘soon’ we mean within a million years.
The Sun is a star – but it’s not the only one.
NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory
There are lots of places where it’s much, much hotter than the Sun. And the amazing thing is that this heat also makes new atoms - tiny particles that have made their way long ago from stars to us.
Artist conception of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole.
Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF.
A team of astronomers captured the moment when a wayward star was pulled into the mouth of a supermassive black hole.
A gamma ray burst close to Earth could be devastating.
If we survive for another 7.59 billion years, our planet will spiral into the outer layers of the dying sun and melt away forever.
All is not calm in the cosmos.
ESA/Hubble and NASA
Stargazing seems such a quiet, calm activity. But whether our eyes can see or not, those stars out there are in constant flux. Time-domain astronomy studies how cosmic objects change with time.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics image of a supernova explosion discovered by Johannes Kepler in 1604.
Flickr/X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/M.Burkey et al; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Our understanding of heavy element production in supernovae, exploding stars way beyond our solar system, may need to change following some discoveries we have made looking not to the skies, but deep under…
Research of a supernova in our galaxy will increase the precision of which we can measure distances outside of our own galaxy…