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Astronomy Without A Telescope – Orphan Supernovae?

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For some years now astronomers have been scratching their heads over the appearance of supernovae that detonate out in the middle of nowhere – rather than within a host galaxy.

Various hypotheses have been proposed, notably that they might be hypervelocity stars – which are stars flung out of their host galaxy due to an unfortunate coincidence of gravitational interactions. It’s thought that such interactions may accelerate those stars up to a velocity of more than 100 kilometers a second – that is, more than the escape velocity of your average galaxy.

But Zinn et al suggest a more mundane suggestion for their particular orphan supernovae of interest, which is SN 2009z. They propose that it is in a galaxy, it’s just a galaxy that is very difficult to see.

They propose the supernova actually detonated within a low surface brightness galaxy, N271. From the images they have produced, this seems a reasonable claim – it’s just that low surface brightness galaxies (or LSBs) aren’t meant to have supernovae.

via Astronomy Without A Telescope – Orphan Supernovae?.


Written by edparnell

November 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Awesome, Science, Space

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