Star light, star bright

Reddy, Francis
February 2004
Astronomy;Feb2004, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p48
The article discusses how various astronomers interpreted the appearance of the supernova of A.D. 1006. Recently, a team led by Frank Winkler of Vermont's Middlebury College observed the expanding blast wave and its interaction with the space around it. Stellar debris races into the interstellar environment, creating a shock wave that compresses and heats any gas it plows into. The shock expands for many thousands of years, ultimately affecting a bubble of space more than a thousand lightyears across before it loses its identity in the thin matter drifting between the stars. To modern astronomers, the implication that the star was just barely above St. Gallen's mountainous southern horizon helped pinpoint its location. The visible nebulosity of most supernova remnants shows an emission spectrum from a number of elements oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur, as well as hydrogen.


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