Learn about the discovery of the first supernova. Also learn about the size and location of the supernova.
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What do you get when you cross a satellite with a—?A stratellite is a robotic broadband airship hovering in earth’s upper atmosphere. Its U.S. developers are hoping to go where no communications platform has ever gone before, delivering line of side wireless broadband and mobile phone signals to an area the size of Texas from a single transmission points. This is the star of the show, the 188 foot-long stratellite prototype. The unmanned ship is designed to function as a relay platform while floating in the stratosphere 65,000 feet above the earth. At $20 to $30 million dollars each, they’re off bargain. You could pay it to your average $250 million satellites. The first supernova to be seen in recent times was discovered in 1987 by accident. Astronomer Ian Shelton had photographed the Large Magellenic Cloud from the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. On checking the developed plates, a bright object was there that he did not recognize. Thinking at a floor in the print, he walked outside to check and in the night sky, soar a new star. Because it appeared so suddenly, he knew it had to be a supernova, one of the biggest cataclysms imaginable in the universe. Using the global computer network, his discovery was told to the world by the International Astrophysical Union. The supernova is located in the Tarantula Nebula in the galaxy nearest to us. It is still 170,000 light-years away though. It is a rare experience for a supernova to be visible to the naked eye, although in 1054, the Crab Supernova was visible even in daylight. The new supernova was once a faint star, a blue super giant about 15 times the mass of our sun. The supernova occurs at the end of a massive star’s lifetime where its fuels are exhausted and it is no longer supported by the release of nuclear energy. If the star’s eye and core is massive enough then it will collapse. In this collapsed core, the protons and electrons are forced so close together that they combine to from neutrons. In effect, it becomes a new neutron star. If the collapsing star is big enough, its gravitational force would overcome even the forces that hold atomic nuclei together and the core would then become a black hole. However, if the star is not big enough to from a black hole, the core collapses but then explodes. This single explosion could release as much energy as ten of our sized suns give out over their entire life. This is the explosion called a supernova. The energy emitted by a supernova is primarily composed of neutrinos particles that very rarely interact with matter. They are detected using huge tanks of purified water buried underground in mines. The neutrinos interact with the purified water and cause flashes of light. After the supernova was observed, experiments were set up to measure unusual radiation reaching earth. The data was gathered from satellite systems as well as some instrument laid in balloons. They found extensive gamma ray radiation. NASA also launched several rocket experiments which detected some of the scattered x-rays. Following the discovery of the supernova, several experiments measured extensive gamma ray radiation. The data was gathered by NASA’s Solar Maximum emission already in orbit around the earth. An instrument laid in balloons which were launched in Australia. They were other rocket-borne missions, one being the International Ultraviolet Explorer which observed the ultraviolet spectrum. Japan launched the Ginga Satellite which detected some of the scattered x-rays. NASA’s rocket experiments launched from Australia also experienced radiation over several wavelengths. Other rocket-borne missions and the International Ultraviolet Explorer observed the ultraviolet spectrum. These measurements revealed information about the density and temperature of the supernova and the formation of molecules surrounding the supernova and in nearby space. The Kuiper Airborne Observatory also flew several experiments over New Zealand to observe the infrared part