APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:06 am

Image Elements in the Aftermath

Explanation: Massive stars spend their brief lives furiously burning nuclear fuel. Through fusion at extreme temperatures and densities surrounding the stellar core, nuclei of light elements ike Hydrogen and Helium are combined to heavier elements like Carbon, Oxygen, etc. in a progression which ends with Iron. So a supernova explosion, a massive star's inevitable and spectacular demise, blasts back into space debris enriched in heavier elements to be incorporated into other stars and planets and people). This detailed false-color x-ray image from the orbiting Chandra Observatory shows such a hot, expanding stellar debris cloud about 36 light-years across. Cataloged as G292.0+1.8, this young supernova remnant is about 20,000 light-years distant toward the southern constellation Centaurus. Light from the inital supernova explosion reached Earth an estimated 1,600 years ago. Bluish colors highlight filaments of the mulitmillion degree gas which are exceptionally rich in Oxygen, Neon, and Magnesium. This enriching supernova also produced a pulsar in its aftermath, a rotating neutron star remnant of the collapsed stellar core. The stunning image was released as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by Ann » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:40 am

Supernova remnant in X-rays. NASA/CXC/SAO
Modern art. Jackson Pollock.

























At least with the supernova remnant, you don't make a fool of yourself by asking what the heck that haphazard pattern is all about. :wink:

(Come to think of it, I think there is a fish head in the Jackson Pollock painting. Too late, little fish! It would have been your turn yesterday.)

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by Boomer12k » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:22 am

True Alchemy...

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:23 pm

G292 Chandra; The element factory! 8-)
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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by starsurfer » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:03 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:23 pm
G292 Chandra; The element factory! 8-)
Elementary, my dear Watson. :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:42 pm

Is the type of supernova which produced this object known or suspected? I ask because the APOD's explanation talks of the production of elements heavier than Fe (no. 26) but then says that the remains are "exceptionally enriched" in O, Ne and Mg, elements 8, 10 and 12 respectively. Seems like this SN might have had a particularly low yield of heavy elements, perhaps?

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by Ann » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:56 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:42 pm
Is the type of supernova which produced this object known or suspected? I ask because the APOD's explanation talks of the production of elements heavier than Fe (no. 26) but then says that the remains are "exceptionally enriched" in O, Ne and Mg, elements 8, 10 and 12 respectively. Seems like this SN might have had a particularly low yield of heavy elements, perhaps?

Bruce
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the progenitor of an oxygen-rich supernova remnant was probably a massive star, and the supernova was a core-collapse one.

But hey, it could be my scatterbrained mind playing tricks on me. :wink:

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by neufer » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:25 pm

https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=aftermath wrote:
aftermath (n.) 1520s, originally a second crop of grass grown on the same land after the first had been harvested, from after + -math, from Old English mæð "a mowing, cutting of grass." Also known as aftercrop (1560s), aftergrass (1680s), lattermath, fog (n.2). Figurative sense is by 1650s. Compare French regain "aftermath," from re- + Old French gain, gaain "grass which grows in mown meadows," from Frankish or some other Germanic source similar to Old High German weida "grass, pasture.">>
................................................
  • When the summer fields are mown,
    When the birds are fledged and flown,
    And the dry leaves strew the path;
    With the falling of the snow,
    With the cawing of the crow,
    Once again the fields we mow
    And gather in the aftermath.


    [Longfellow, from "Aftermath"]
https://www.quora.com/What-rpm-do-a-typical-gasoline-and-electric-push-lawnmower-spin wrote:
<<Blades on riding mower typically spin between 2700 and 3200 rpm [ i.e., a period of 22 to 19 milliseconds.]>>>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsar wrote:
<<The shortest period pulsar, PSR J1748-2446ad, with a period of ~1.4 milliseconds.

The longest period pulsar, at 118.2 seconds, as well as the only known example of a white dwarf pulsar, AR Scorpii.>>
Last edited by neufer on Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:46 pm

Ann wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:56 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:42 pm
Is the type of supernova which produced this object known or suspected? I ask because the APOD's explanation talks of the production of elements heavier than Fe (no. 26) but then says that the remains are "exceptionally enriched" in O, Ne and Mg, elements 8, 10 and 12 respectively. Seems like this SN might have had a particularly low yield of heavy elements, perhaps?

Bruce
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the progenitor of an oxygen-rich supernova remnant was probably a massive star, and the supernova was a core-collapse one.

But hey, it could be my scatterbrained mind playing tricks on me. :wink:

Ann
Yes you're probably right Ann. But it was also right to suspect that there was something a bit odd about the SN that made this remnant. From the explanation's link "this enriching supernova" comes this from a NASA source:
Supernova remnants are the debris from exploded stars. G292.0+1.8 is a rare type of supernova remnant observed to contain large amounts of oxygen. Because they are one of the primary sources of the heavy elements (that is, everything other than hydrogen and helium) necessary to form planets and people, these oxygen-rich supernova remnants are important to study. The X-ray image of G292+1.8 from Chandra shows a rapidly expanding, intricately structured field left behind by the shattered star. The image is colored red, green, teal and purple in X-rays ranging from the lowest to highest energy levels.

Recently the first detection was made of iron debris from the exploded star. Authors constructed a map of this debris, along with that of silicon and sulphur, to understand more about the explosion. They found that these three elements are mainly located in the upper right of the remnant. This is in the opposite direction from the neutron star that was formed in the explosion, and was then kicked towards the lower left of the remnant. This suggests that the origin of this kick is gravitational and fluid forces from an asymmetric explosion. If more than half of the star’s debris is ejected in one direction, then the neutron star is kicked in the other direction so that momentum is conserved. This finding argues against the idea that the copious amounts of neutrinos formed in the supernova explosion were emitted in a lop-sided direction, imparting a kick to the neutron star.
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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:17 pm

neufer wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:25 pm
https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=aftermath wrote:
aftermath (n.) 1520s, originally a second crop of grass grown on the same land after the first had been harvested, from after + -math, from Old English mæð "a mowing, cutting of grass." Also known as aftercrop (1560s), aftergrass (1680s), lattermath, fog (n.2). Figurative sense is by 1650s. Compare French regain "aftermath," from re- + Old French gain, gaain "grass which grows in mown meadows," from Frankish or some other Germanic source similar to Old High German weida "grass, pasture.">>
................................................
  • When the summer fields are mown,
    When the birds are fledged and flown,
    And the dry leaves strew the path;
    With the falling of the snow,
    With the cawing of the crow,
    Once again the fields we mow
    And gather in the aftermath.


    [Longfellow, from "Aftermath"]
Interesting, innocuous origin for the word 'aftermath'. It went from describing a fine productive field's second harvest to describing scenes of horrific destruction.

I wonder how many people's fear of math stems from seeing and hearing news accounts of death and devastation called "the aftermath". Oh the horror! Look what math causes! Run for your lives kiddies, math is about to happen. :shock:
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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by FLPhotoCatcher » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:41 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:17 pm

Interesting, innocuous origin for the word 'aftermath'. It went from describing a fine productive field's second harvest to describing scenes of horrific destruction.

I wonder how many people's fear of math stems from seeing and hearing news accounts of death and devastation called "the aftermath". Oh the horror! Look what math causes! Run for your lives kiddies, math is about to happen. :shock:
I've never liked higher math myself, though I think that stemmed from my ineptness concerning the subject.

My mom would call me "Math" when I was younger, so I dislike the word 'aftermath'. Sometimes I'd hear the word, and think "I didn't do it!" So, I'd be all for bringing back the original meaning of the word.

Yeah, not going to happen. :|

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by MarkBour » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:16 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:42 pm
Is the type of supernova which produced this object known or suspected? I ask because the APOD's explanation talks of the production of elements heavier than Fe (no. 26) but then says that the remains are "exceptionally enriched" in O, Ne and Mg, elements 8, 10 and 12 respectively. Seems like this SN might have had a particularly low yield of heavy elements, perhaps?

Bruce
Bruce, sometimes the APOD text gets changed part way through the discussion. But by my reading of the text currently, I don't think there was meant to be any implication that this supernova (nor its progenitor) produced any elements heavier than Fe. There are 2 sentences that contain "heavier elements", but I think they just meant "heavier than helium".
Mark Goldfain

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:34 pm

MarkBour wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:16 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:42 pm
Is the type of supernova which produced this object known or suspected? I ask because the APOD's explanation talks of the production of elements heavier than Fe (no. 26) but then says that the remains are "exceptionally enriched" in O, Ne and Mg, elements 8, 10 and 12 respectively. Seems like this SN might have had a particularly low yield of heavy elements, perhaps?

Bruce
Bruce, sometimes the APOD text gets changed part way through the discussion. But by my reading of the text currently, I don't think there was meant to be any implication that this supernova (nor its progenitor) produced any elements heavier than Fe. There are 2 sentences that contain "heavier elements", but I think they just meant "heavier than helium".
I didn't mean to imply any criticism of the Explanation Mark, if that's what you thought I was thinking. I was just making a point that the set of elements in this remnant seemed unusual. (As how the elements in their respective proportions came to be is a key interest of mine the types of astrophysical events that produce and distribute them is something I follow keenly.)

Can a SN explode without producing elements heavier than iron? I didn't think so before Mark's comment prompted me to dig a little deeper. This is what I found out about the low mass end of the core collapse SN range in the wikipedia article on AGB stars:
Super-AGB stars

Stars close to the upper mass limit to still qualify as AGB stars show some peculiar properties and have been dubbed super-AGB stars. They have masses above 7 M☉ and up to 9 or 10 M☉ (or more[20]). They represent a transition to the more massive supergiant stars that undergo full fusion of elements heavier than helium. During the triple-alpha process, some elements heavier than carbon are also produced: mostly oxygen, but also some magnesium, neon, and even heavier elements. Super-AGB stars develop partially degenerate carbon–oxygen cores that are large enough to ignite carbon in a flash analogous to the earlier helium flash. The second dredge-up is very strong in this mass range and that keeps the core size below the level required for burning of neon as occurs in higher-mass supergiants. The size of the thermal pulses and third dredge-ups are reduced compared to lower-mass stars, while the frequency of the thermal pulses increases dramatically. Some super-AGB stars may explode as an electron capture supernova, but most will end as an oxygen–neon white dwarf.[21] Since these stars are much more common than higher-mass supergiants, they could form a high proportion of observed supernovae. Detecting examples of these supernovae would provide valuable confirmation of models that are highly dependent on assumptions.

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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by TheOtherBruce » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:23 am

That's an interesting snippet upthread about this being an asymmetric supernova. That's something else new I've learned; I thought by definition a supernova reaction has to light up in the middle of the star's core, so where is the asymmetry coming from?

Unless... could the progenitor have been part of a binary (or more) system? That's the only situation I know of that can send a supernova remnant going thataway at a high rate of knots.
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Re: APOD: Elements in the Aftermath (2019 Aug 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:55 am

TheOtherBruce wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:23 am
That's an interesting snippet upthread about this being an asymmetric supernova. That's something else new I've learned; I thought by definition a supernova reaction has to light up in the middle of the star's core, so where is the asymmetry coming from?

Unless... could the progenitor have been part of a binary (or more) system? That's the only situation I know of that can send a supernova remnant going thataway at a high rate of knots.
Seems like this remnant's progenitor just barely had enough mass to go SN, as indicated by the abundance of lighter than Fe elements. Binary star systems are extremely common, so your idea makes sense. Perhaps material being pulled off a swelling close neighbor played a role. Or even a collision triggering an off-center detonation.
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