APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb 26)

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APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb 26)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:06 am

Image The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A

Explanation: What's causing those odd rings in supernova 1987A? Twenty five years ago, in 1987, the brightest supernova in recent history was seen in the Large Magellanic Clouds. At the center of the above picture is an object central to the remains of the violent stellar explosion. Surrounding the center are curious outer rings appearing as a flattened figure 8. Although large telescopes including the Hubble Space Telescope monitor the curious rings every few years, their origin remains a mystery. Pictured above is a Hubble image of the SN1987A remnant taken last year. Speculation into the cause of the rings includes beamed jets emanating from an otherwise hidden neutron star left over from the supernova, and the interaction of the wind from the progenitor star with gas released before the explosion.

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KarelSculptor

Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by KarelSculptor » Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:56 am

Here in APOD I have seen many images of bipolar systems. In this 1 the red rings to my opinion are the edges of a diabolo form. Mesier 27 is another one as the red Square nebula and the Shapley 1 nebula. Astronomer Vincent Icke discovered many of them. The red square is a diabolo seen from the side, Mesier 27 almost from the bottom or top, Shapley1 from bottom or top and this one viewed from an angel. The white dotted ring in this picture looks like a optical problem. Many of the surrounding stars in this image seem to have the same dotted ring around them. So this must be an artefact. Have FUN Greatings from the Netherlands

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by nstahl » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:41 am

Great APOD. Just to be clear, the two large bright objects at 1:00 and 7:30, roughly, are the two bright foreground stars mentioned in the "Speculation" link. Right?

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by Beyond » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:06 am

The 'wind' link was just ducky! I've never seen ducks roll around before. It's amazing they didn't have a quackup :!: :mrgreen:
Oh yeah, the rest of it was good also. :yes:
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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by Ann » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:28 am

Beyond wrote:The 'wind' link was just ducky! I've never seen ducks roll around before. It's amazing they didn't have a quackup :!: :mrgreen:
Oh yeah, the rest of it was good also. :yes:
LOL, Beyond! :D

Poor ducklings, though! :cry:

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by Boomer12k » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:28 pm

I think the Rings could be from earlier ejected material than from the actual explosion itself....a hiccup, then a blast....and the hiccup gets shoved ahead... Possible???

There also seems to be some "dust" of to the left....


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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by ritwik » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:49 pm

Image

why it looks exactly same over 2 yrs ....not even a slight change in any positions,but a supernova explosion will last only for weeks

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:43 pm

I've seen smoke rings from firecrackers exploding! This kind of reminds me of that! :? :wink:
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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by luigi » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:57 pm

Excellent APOD!

I wonder what would be the average number of supernovas in the LMC, will we see another soon, in 20 years, in 50?

It's a misterious place the LMC and it has a great view of our galaxy.

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by alphachapmtl » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:58 pm

I'm always waiting and hoping for a new supernova that would be closer.
It could be observed and studied much more precisely.
Yet years goes by and still nothing.

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by alphachapmtl » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:01 pm

luigi wrote: ... It's a misterious place the LMC and it has a great view of our galaxy.
Yes, too bad we don't have a friend living there, would be nice to visit. (space is so big,,,)

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by nstahl » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:22 pm

alphachapmtl wrote:I'm always waiting and hoping for a new supernova that would be closer.
It could be observed and studied much more precisely.
Yet years goes by and still nothing.
But not too close! Be careful what you wish for :D .

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by BMAONE23 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:32 pm

ritwik wrote:Image

why it looks exactly same over 2 yrs ....not even a slight change in any positions,but a supernova explosion will last only for weeks
Supernovae are visible for thousands of years,This remnant was first visible 1873 years ago and is still visible today This image from the Hubble Site demonstrates the changes (brightness) that have occured to the central region over a 12 year period

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by neufer » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:48 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by Wolf Kotenberg » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:58 pm

We need some guys to go ckeck it out. Flash Gordon around ?

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:08 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:Supernovae are visible for thousands of years,This remnant was first visible 1873 years ago and is still visible today
I think it would be more accurate to view a supernova as a transient phenomenon, with a well defined beginning, and a not so well defined end. It might be considered to last a few seconds at the shortest, and a few years at the longest. In any case, what we normally call a "supernova" is typically visible for about a year as a brightened star (brighter than the parent), after which we are mainly observing the remnant- which as you say, dissipates over thousands of years.
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userrj

Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by userrj » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:44 pm

Could it be a double lensing from a bright star beyond?

copper5817@

Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by copper5817@ » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:57 pm

It resembles the shape of the butterfly nebula if only much less dense. Kind of like it would look when looking at it from an end, except the walls of the cones on each end are nearly transparent.

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by Beyond » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:19 pm

userrj wrote:Could it be a double lensing from a bright star beyond?
No. You can see the lensing effect when it is happening and what is being lensed is behind it.
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toscaz

Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by toscaz » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:03 am

Are we looking at the rings two dimensionally , or is this actually an image of rings that emanated in opposite directions, that is, a three dimensional image of something like vortex rings above and below/ behind and in front of the central supernova remnant?

monarchist

Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by monarchist » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:15 am

Not so mysterious. This isn't a figure 8, and the dimmer rings are where cones of ejecta are colliding with gas/dust. Fairly obviously, the system is tilted to the right from this perspective, and the explosion was heavily influenced by the angular momentum of the star or star system that blew up. Analagous to numerous planetary nebulae with this same general form.

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by TNT » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:37 am

Beyond wrote:
userrj wrote:Could it be a double lensing from a bright star beyond?
No. You can see the lensing effect when it is happening and what is being lensed is behind it.
You wouldn't be able to see a lensing effect when a star is behind an object, because there would be no gravational effect on the light that causes lensing to happen. The light from that object would have to pass very close to the star at a certain degree to be lensed. Anyway, I don't think a star would be much for gravitational lensing.

This APOD though is fantastic. We don't get to see a peculiar supernova like this everyday, especially in a neighboring galaxy like the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Last edited by TNT on Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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saturn2

Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by saturn2 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:28 am

This is a very interesting image, indeed.

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Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by DavidLeodis » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Awww, I felt for those cute windswept ducklings and their mum (or could it be dad) that were in the video brought up through the "wind" link. I hope they were OK. :)

The music in the video brought up through the "stellar explosion" link was though, to me, very annoying. :roll:

Raghu

Re: APOD: The Mysterious Rings of Supernova 1987A (2012 Feb

Post by Raghu » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:50 pm

Could it be possible that the faint '8' rings could be the ejecta from the 'initial' spark just before the main supernova explosion?

It also looks like the two faint rings seem to emanate from the same source at the center - like formed in the form of a double cone with their apex at the origin of th explosion... The top ones recedeing from us while the bottom ones approaching us.

Raghu