Nearby Galaxy M82 Hosts a New Supernova!

I woke up to some great science news: A supernova has gone off in the nearby galaxy M82!

This is terribly exciting for astronomers. M82 is pretty close as galaxies go, less than 12 million light years away. That means we have an excellent view of one of the biggest explosions in the Universe, and we’ll be able to study it in great detail!

The supernova has the preliminary designation of PSN J09554214+6940260. I know, that’s awful—it’s based on the star’s coordinates—but it’ll get a name soon enough that’ll be easier on the eyes and brain.

Photo by UCL/University of London Observatory/Steve Fossey/Ben Cooke/Guy Pollack/Matthew Wilde/Thomas Wright

And just to get this out of the way, we’re in no danger from this explosion. It’s far too far away. Also, you won’t be able to just go outside, look up, and see it. Right now it’s too faint to see without a telescope. But the good news is it appears to have been discovered about two weeks before it hits peak brightness.

Supernovae get brighter over time before fading away, and this one may get as bright as 8th magnitude, which is within range of binoculars. Right now it’s at about 12th magnitude; the faintest star you can see with your naked eye is about mag 6 (note that the numbers run backwards; a bigger number is a fainter object).

M82 is in Ursa Major, well placed for viewing right now in the Northern Hemisphere.

Universe Today has a map to show you how to find it.

Here’s a funny thing, too. The supernova itself is what we call a Type Ia, a dwarf explosion. Astronomers are still trying to figure out exactly what happens in a Type Ia explosion, but there are three competing scenarios. Each involves a white dwarf, the small, dense, hot core left over after a star turns into a red giant, blows off its outer layers, and essentially “dies.”

One scenario is that the white dwarf is orbiting a second star. It siphons off material from the star and accumulates it on its surface. Eventually this material gets so compressed by the huge gravity of the white dwarf that it fuses, creating a catastrophic explosion that tears the star apart.

Another is that two white dwarfs orbit each other. Eventually they spiral in, merge, and explode. The third, which is a recent idea, is that there are actually three stars in the system, a normal star and two white dwarfs. Due to the complex dance of gravity, the third star warps the orbits of the two dwarfs, and at some point they collide head-on!

This too would result in a supernova explosion. All three scenarios involve very old stars, since it can take billions of years for a normal star to turn into a white dwarf.

What’s funny about this is that the galaxy M82 is undergoing a huge burst of star formation right now, and that means lots of massive stars are born. These live short lives and also explode as supernovae (called Type II, or core collapse) though the mechanism is very different from that of the white dwarf explosions. You’d expect M82 to have more core collapse supernovae, but this new one is a Type Ia.

And that’s actually more good news. These supernovae tend to all explode with the same energy, so they behave the same way whether they are near or far. We can see them for billions of light years away, which means they can be used to measure the distances of galaxies that are very far away. It was this kind of exploding star that allowed astronomers to discover dark energy, in fact. This energy is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, making it grow more every day.

We don’t know a whole lot about it - it was only announced in 1998—but we’re learning more all the time. A nearby Type Ia means we can learn even more about these explosions, and hopefully calibrate our understanding even better.

And that means we need observations! If you are an amateur astronomer, get images! And if you observed M82 recently, you may have “pre-discovery” images of it, taken before it was officially discovered. Those are critical for understanding the behavior of the supernova. If you do, report it to the CBAT (but make sure you read the instructions first; they don’t want images, just reports of magnitudes and so on).

Given the fact that it’s nearby, up high for so many observers, and caught so early, this may become one of the best-observed supernovae in modern times. I’m very excited this happened, and I hope to share more images and information with you soon!

Print Page

Radioactive particles from nuclear tests still prevalent in atmosphere

London, Jan 8 (ANI): A new study has found that radioactive particles from nuclear tests that took place decades ago persist in the upper atmosphere.

Previously, scientists believed that nuclear debris found high above the Earth would now be negligible.

However, this research shows that plutonium and caesium isotopes are still present at surprisingly high concentrations, the BBC reported.

Lead author Dr Jose Corcho Alvarado, from the Institute of Radiation Physics at Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland, said that most of the radioactive particles are removed in the first few years after the explosion, but a fraction remains in the stratosphere for a few decades or even hundreds or thousands of years.

However, he said that the levels were not high enough to pose a risk to human health.

At the height of the Cold War, when the nuclear arms race was in full swing, weapons were being developed and tested around the world.

But more than 50 years on, their radioactive legacy remains.

While nuclear explosions initially throw material up into the air, scientists had thought that the radioactive particles would remain for a limited time.

In the troposphere (the lower layer of the atmosphere that sits directly above the Earth), the isotopes are removed fairly quickly, as they are "washed out" by attaching to rain or snow or are drawn down by gravity.

However, in the stratosphere (the layer that sits from about 10-50km above the Earth), the Swiss team believes that some particles become trapped.

Dr Jose Corcho Alvarado said that the concentrations they measured were in the order of about 1,000 to 1,500 levels higher in the stratosphere than in the troposphere.

While the tests were carried out over Switzerland, the team said they expected similar levels would be found at the same latitude elsewhere around the world.

The study is published in the journal Nature Communications. (ANI)

Print Page

Fukushima Death

Underground Nuclear Explosion At Crippled Japan Atomic Plant Shocks World

An ominous edict issued from the Office of the President of Russia four days ago to all Ministries of the Russian Government ordering that all “past, present and future” information relating to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster now be rated at the highest classification level "Of Special Importance" states that this condition is “immediately and urgently needed” due to a series of underground nuclear explosions occurring at this crippled atomic plant on 31 December as confirmed by the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

“Of Special Importance” is Russia’s highest classification level and refers to information which, if released, would cause damage to the entire Russian Federation.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a catastrophic failure at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on 11 March 2011. The failure occurred when the plant was hit by a tsunami triggered by the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake.

The plant began releasing substantial amounts of radioactive materials beginning on 12 March 2011 becoming the largest nuclear incident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the second (with Chernobyl) to measure at the highest Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

According to this report, MoD “assests” associated with the Red Banner Pacific Fleet detected two “low-level” underground atomic explosions occurring in the Fukushima disaster zone on 31 December, the first measuring 5.1 magnitude in intensity, followed by a smaller 3.6 magnitude explosion moments later.

The MoD further reports that the 5.1 magnitude event corresponds to the energy equivalent in megatons of TNT of 0.0005, while the 3.6 magnitude event equals 0.0000005.

As a comparison, the MoD states that the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 by the United States released the equivalent of 16 Kilotons = 0.016 megatons of TNT, about the energy equivalent of a magnitude 6 earthquake, and the largest hydrogen bomb ever detonated was the Tsar bomb, a device exploded by the Soviet Union on 30 October 1961, with an energy equivalent of about 50 megatons of TNT.

Important to note, this report continues, was that the architect of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3, Uehara Haruo, warned on 17 November 2011 warned that a "China Syndrome" (aka: Hydrovolcanic Explosion) was “inevitable” due to the melted atomic fuel that had escaped the container vessel and was now burning through the earth.

The MoD further reports that evidence that these underground nuclear explosions were about to occur began after mysterious steam plumes were first spotted on 19 December for a short period of time, then again on 24, 25, 27 December, and confirmed by a report Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) published on its website.

Most curious to note, this report continues, is that the United States appears to have had a more advanced notice of these underground nuclear explosions as evidenced by their purchase earlier this month (6 December) of 14 million doses of potassium iodide,  the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, to be delivered before the beginning of February 2014.

With experts now estimating that the wave of radiation from Fukushima will be 10-times bigger than all of the radiation from the entire world’s nuclear tests throughout history combined, and with new reports stating that dangerous radiation levels have been detected in snows found in Texas, Colorado and Missouri, this MoD report warns the US, indeed, is going to face the severest consequences of this historic, and seemingly unstoppable, nuclear disaster.

And not just to human beings either is this nuclear disaster unfolding either, this report grimly warns, but also to all biological systems as new reports coming from the United States western coastal areas are now detailing the mass deaths of seals, sea lions, polar bears, bald eagles, sea stars, turtles, king and sockeye salmon, herring, anchovies, and sardines due to Fukishima radiation.

As to the American people being allowed to know the full and horrific mass death event now unfolding around them, this report warns, is not be as the Obama regime has, in effect, ordered all of their mainstream news media organs not to report it, and as recently confirmed by former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur who was told not to warn the public about the danger posed by the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant during his time as a host on the cable network.

And with Russian experts now warning  that as Fukushima pollution spreads all over Earth (as large amounts of fish, seaweeds, and everything in ocean has been already been polluted, and these products are the main danger for mankind as they can end up being eaten by people on a massive scale) this report warns that Putin’s order to classify all information relating to this nuclear mass death event “Of Special Importance” is vital to protect the economic and social stability interests of the Russian Federation as this global catastrophe continues to worsen by the day.

 Fish caught outside the danger zone Fuskushime have all the signs of radiation exposure, including strains in growth and body shaping. Fish inside the danger zone is irradiated with a dose 2540 times higher than allowed

98% Of Pacific Seafloor Covered In Dead Sea Creatures 145 Miles Off The Coast Of California

This information is taken from both National Geographic and the National Acadamy of Sciences and shares that as of July 1st of 2012, 98% of the studied sea floor 145 miles off the coast of California was covered with dead and decomposing sea creatures. For those who think that 98% is probably a normal study number, only a few months earlier, the same study found less than 1% of the sea floor covered with ‘detritus’.

Several up to date video reports below as well including one from Kevin Blanch who shares that squid are now washing ashore on Santa Cruz beaches as well as well as one from MsMilkytheclown1 who shares more about the deadly quality of the radiation we are now getting from Fukushima..:

National Geographic, Nov. 22, 2013: [...] “In the 24 years of this study, the past 2 years have been the biggest amounts of this detritus by far,” said study leader Christine Huffard, a marine biologist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California. [...] In March 2012, less than one percent of the seafloor beneath Station M [located 145 miles west of the coast of California between Santa Barbara and Monterey] was covered in dead sea salps. By July 1, more than 98 percent of it was covered in the decomposing organisms, according to the study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [...] Although climate change is a leading contender for explaining the major increases in 2011 and 2012, Huffard says that these spikes could be part of a longer-term trend that scientists haven’t yet observed. She hopes to continue gathering data from Station M to try and figure it out.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nov. 11, 2013 (emphasis added): [...] Two major peaks in POC [particulate organic carbon] flux occurred over the last 18 mo of the time series [...] The peak POC flux in spring/summer 2011 was the highest recorded over the 24-y time series (Fig. 1D) [...] The daily presence of detrital aggregates on the sea floor did not exceed 15% coverage over the period from 1990 to 2007. The highest sea-floor coverage by detrital aggregates measured throughout the 24-y time series occurred between March and August 2012, when salp detritus ranged from <1% cover in early March to a high of 98% cover on 1 July.

Print Page
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...