back to article Stargazers spot oldest supernova yet

Astronomers from the University of California have spied a supernova which lit up the early universe 10.7 billion years ago - 1.5 billion years before the previous record holder and just 3 billions years after the big bang. A team led by Jeff Cooke spotted the event - a "type II"* supernova provoked by the core collapse of a …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Julian I-Do-Stuff
    Thumb Up


    Yes, read it first at New Scientist, but Vulture Central nicely stripped the meat from the carcass... please do more such stuff - then I can stop bothering with NS bloat.

  2. Chris Thomas Alpha

    Center of the universe?

    Just a question, see if anyone knows this, since we can determine that 10billion years ago some star went bang, we can draw a line between us and the stars last position, if we do that with enough supernovas and use their ages to determine their location in space at the time of the explosion, wouldnt it be possible to determine the rough direction of the center of the universe? It's just ray casting isnt it?

    so ok, we know it's roughly 15 billion years old, we know that in vectorA supernovaA exploded 10 billion years ago (light years, roughly working out it's location in space relative to us as a ray cast through space)

    repeat with lots of supernova data and wouldnt you be able to work out a network of rays cast out from our planet, to the supernovas location in space/time, then be able to work out roughly where the center might be.

    because if we all originated from a central point, we will all be able to know our location relative to everything else and use some time based information to roughly work out where we are absolutely as well.

    it sounds plausible, but maybe its rubbish and this coffee has had too much fun with my brain

  3. Alexander Giochalas


    Correct me if I am wrong, but AFAIK, elements up to iron are actually produced by the fusion

    reactions in the heart of the stars. This is because iron is the most stable (regarding its

    nucleus) element and the energy levels available in common stars cannot add any protons

    to it.

    A supernova explosion produces enough energy to create the rest, heavier, elements.

  4. AchimR


    10.7 billion years ago, sheesh.

    Comprehend that one ;)

    And in all those years before and after, surely earth can't be the only inhabited planet, contrary to what weirdos believe in. There must be life elsewhere too.

    Mine's the one welcoming our Alien overlords :)

  5. Jimmy Floyd


    So this star gave up after just 3 billion years?


  6. Phu

    Stacking aint new...

    You talk about image stacking as if its some fantastic new technology or idea... its been around for years.

    Even amateur astronomers using stacking to bring out details in images of celestial objects. Absorption nebulae are prime candidates for stacking as they are dark by their nature, and need a lot of light exposure to see in any detail.

    A popular program for performing image stacking is RegiStax, thought I'm told its a bugger to learn to use effectively.

    -- Richard

  7. Anonymous Coward

    what i want to see

    Is an 8 metre scope in space taking those piccies. Ah, the detail...the devil's all in the detail.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Wrong on so many counts

    Supernovae initially and by themselves produce no element heavier than Iron (through fast fusion), All others heavier than Iron are produced by exotic post-nova nucleosynthesis (slow fusion) processes such as the r and s process which is where super-heavy elements like uranium come from.

    Essentially there are statistically now so few stellar objects with enough neutron flux to do this anymore, so basically all the heavy elements in existence are all you are going to get.

  9. Onionman
    Paris Hilton

    @Chris Thomas Alpha


    Too much coffee, I think. One way to look at it is to imagine a two dimensional man whose universe is the surface of the balloon he lives on. He's truly two dimensional, so there is no "up" or "down" to him. Blow the balloon up and it expands. From his perspective, everything on the surface moves away from everything else. Unfortunately, to him, it just expands everywhere. As there's no up or down to him, the concept of an origin point means nothing.

    Everything in the universe is moving apart from everything else without an origin point, I'm afraid.


    Even Paris and me...

  10. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    'I remember when it was all hydrogen around here...'

  11. Wyrmhole



  12. Garret Cotter

    Sn nucleosynthesis

    There's plenty of time - seconds - for the r-process to churn out heavy elements all he way up to

    Uranium in a Type II Sn (the r stands for rapid!). If anything, the problem is that observed Sn rates ought to produce too *many* trans-ferrous elements. And the s-process is believed to be simmering away in AGB stars all the time.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019