Recent observations of a newly exploded star called the 1987A by NuSTAR has supported some of the primary theories about the inner workings of the supernovae.
With the latest observations at NuSTAR, 1987A is again proving to be a useful natural lab for observing the mysteries of stellar death. Currently, confirmation by the supercomputer model predictions made at Caltech that the deaths of stellar giants are lopsided affairs in which stars and debris’ cores hurtle off in opposite directions is being done.
Supernova 1987A was first detected in 1987. It is the closest supernova to be detected in hundreds of years and it was the first time that neutrinos were detected from an astronomical source other than the sun.
The study, published in the May 8 issue of journal Science, the study states that the NuSTAR by NASA recently saw titanium-44 in the remnants of supernova 1987A. Titanium-44 is generated after a type-2 star explosion.
NuSTAR’s principal investigator, Fiona Harrison told that titanium-44 is unstable hence when it decays and turns into calcium, it emits gamma rays at a particular energy which is detected by NuSTAR. The analysis of Doppler shifts of energy from titanium-44 showed that most of the material is moving away from NuSTAR, hence confirming that the mechanism which triggers Type-2 supernova is inherently lopsided.
Christian Ott, a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech further explained,” It could be that the high degree of asymmetry in some supernovae produces a dual effect: the star explodes in one direction, while the remainder of the star continues to collapse in all other directions”.
The findings also boost the chances of finding the gravitational waves of supernovae by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory or LIGO. Ott and Harrison plans to refine the supercomputer simulations of supernova explosions by combining the knowledge from NuSTAR observations and supernova studies.