A white dwarf that went supernova in 1604 still intrigues astronomers. The event was visible to the naked eye and documented by the famous German astronomer Johannes Kepler. But, what’s so different at this supernova?
The Kepler’s Supernova, as it got named, is still expanding, the guts of the star exploding into space. Such a phenomenon troubles scientists’ researches, especially after a recent investigation. Here is what you need to know.
Kepler’s Supernova is Unstoppable: What to Expect
Kepler’s Supernova can’t be stopped, and scientists are really intrigued. According to new observations, the space object is not slowing down. Knots of matter in the ejecta are moving at speeds up to 8,700 km/s, over 25,000 times faster than the sound’s velocity in Earth’s atmosphere.
Due to its relative recentness and proximity, Kepler’s Supernova is considered now the most significant space object in the Milky Way for examining the evolution of Type Ia supernovae. And a lot of data from decades ago has helped unveil how fast the supernova ejecta is moving.
Recently, a team of astronomers utilized images of the Kepler’s Supernova captured by the Chandra X-ray observatory to detect 15 knots of matter in the supernova ejecta. The team also observed the changes in position to measure their speed in 3D space. You can watch a short video of Kepler’s Supernova remnant below.
The team found that other knots are almost freely expanding, 400 years after the big event. Their speeds are huge, measuring 4,600 km/s. Such a thing indicates that at least some of the Kepler’s Supernova matter can blast right through the circumstellar medium, without being stopped.
The Kepler’s Supernova is also unusually energetic for a Type Ia. If the astronomers measure the speeds of more ejects over the coming years, they could confirm their calculations and measurements, and build a better 3D map of the matter’s distribution.
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