rev.ex3.fall.10 - Astronomy Bizarre 309N Fall 2010 (47700)...

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Astronomy Bizarre Wheeler 309N Fall 2010 October 18, 2010 ( 47700) Review for Test #3 Super-luminous Supernovae, Supernova 1987A, Neutron Stars, Einstein’s Gravity ROTSE – a set of four small robotic telescopes, one at McDonald Observatory, capable of rapid response and searching large volumes of space for supernovae. Texas Supernova Search – a program to search for new supernovae using the ROTSE telescope at McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. Super-luminous supernovae – a new class of supernovae that are 10 to 100 times brighter than normal supernovae discovered by the Texas Supernova Search. Some require very large masses, about 100 times the mass of the Sun. Shell-shock model – this model proposes that the progenitor star expelled a dense shell of material to a distance of about 100x the radius of the Earth’s orbit before the explosion. The material exploded in the supernova then collides with that shell that radiates the heat of collision very effectively. Pair-formation supernovae – very massive stars, 100 to 200 times the mass of the Sun, are predicted to form matter and anti-matter, electron-positron pairs when they develop hot cores of oxygen. Converting heat energy to mass reduces pressure and causes the oxygen core to contract, heat, and explode, leaving nothing behind. These explosions are predicted to produce a great deal of nickel-56 (10’s of solar masses) and hence to be bright. Pair-formation supernovae have been proposed to explain some super-luminous supernovae. Some super-luminous supernovae would require more mass of nickel-56 than the total mass ejected as determined by the time of rise and fall of the light curve. This is a physical impossibility, so these super-
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rev.ex3.fall.10 - Astronomy Bizarre 309N Fall 2010 (47700)...

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