Supernovae

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
winer
Asternaut
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:45 pm
Location: Burnaby, BC Canada

Supernovae

Post by winer » Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:52 pm

Tody's picture refers to two recent supernovae, SN1987A and SN1993J. It would appear that there are not many supernovae occuring. I find this very surprising, given the large number of large stars in a typical galaxy. Why are there not many more supernovae?

Odegard
Ensign
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:10 pm

Re: Supernovae

Post by Odegard » Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:18 am

winer wrote:Tody's picture refers to two recent supernovae, SN1987A and SN1993J. It would appear that there are not many supernovae occuring. I find this very surprising, given the large number of large stars in a typical galaxy. Why are there not many more supernovae?
Lots of Supernovae are discovered every year. The rate of discovery exploded with semiautomatic telescopes constantly surveying the skies. A list of recent supernovae can be found here.

The namingconvention is like this: the first supernova discovered in 2005 is called 2005A, the next one 2005B etc. After 2005Z comes 2005AA and so on and so on. According to the link, the last SN to be detected was 2005DU. DU = 4*26+21 = 125 (I hope).

The problem is the same as with most phenomenons in the universe: distance. Supernovae can be observed over vast distances, several billion light years, but the further out they are, the smaller portion of the sky they occupy, and more difficult they are to pin-point.
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