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SN2005ke labels
 

 

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Description
English: Supernova 2005ke, which was detected in 2005, is a Type Ia supernova, an important "standard candle" explosion used by astronomers to measure distances in the universe. Shown here is the explosion in optical, ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths. This is the first X-ray image of a Type Ia, and it has provided observational evidence that Type Ia are the explosion of a white dwarf orbiting a red giant star.
Date 2005(2005)
Source Credit: NASA/Swift/S. Immler
Author Credit: NASA/Swift/S. Immler
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(Reusing this file)

Images produced by NASA are usually free of copyright [...]

An explosion called SN 2005ke is the first Type Ia supernova detected in X-ray wavelengths, and it is much brighter in the ultraviolet than expected. A Type Ia is an explosion of a white dwarf in orbit around either another white dwarf or a red giant star. The dense white dwarf can accumulate gas donated from the companion. When the dwarf reaches the critical mass of 1.4 solar masses, a thermonuclear explosion ensues.

Type Ia are called "standard candles" and are used by astronomers to measure distances in the universe, because each Type Ia shines with a known luminosity. Immler's team says it has the first observational evidence to support one theory about the origin of these supernovae.

Immler's group has found direct evidence in the X-ray and ultraviolet light of SN 2005ke that a white dwarf, now obliterated, was indeed orbiting a red giant. The scientists detected shock waves from the explosion ramming into gas from a red giant and found no evidence of a second white dwarf. This observation may help astronomers understand the birthplaces and evolution of these supernovae, so crucial to the field of cosmology and dark energy.

Licensing

Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)

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