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article imageSupernova 'fireballs' discovered after thousands of years

By David James Young     Nov 30, 2010 in Science
Two remnants of a supernova have been observed at the Japan/United States Suzaku observatory, and discovered to have contained temperatures 10,000 times hotter than the surface of the sun.
The remnants, which lay some five thousand light years away, are believed to have formed approximately four thousand years ago.
Using the high sensitivity of the Suzaku observatory's satellite, a team led by Hiroya Yamaguchi and Midori Ozawa were able to detect features in the X-ray spectrum of IC 443 - also known as the "Jellyfish Nebula" - that were deemed particularly unusual.
The supernova remnants were found to be unusual on account of the fact that supernova remnants usually cool quite rapidly due to expansion following the explosion.
As the remnants sweep up tenuous interstellar gas, it is generally understood to heat up again very gradually over the course of thousands of years.
"This is the first evidence of a new type of supernova remnant - one that was heated right after the explosion," said Mr. Yamaguchi, a representative of Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, to Daily Galaxy.
Mr. Yamaguchi went on to explain that the remnants "cannot form in the present-day."
"Instead, we're seeing ions created by the enormous temperatures that immediately followed the supernova."
The team behind the observatory research have gone on to suggest that the supernova in question may have possibly occurred in a relatively dense environment - perhaps, even, in a cocoon of the star itself.
More about Supernova, Astrology, Japan
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