Supernova 1987a Feature Summary

Type:
From Physics Research
Title:
Supernova 1987a
Description:
Here is a before-and-after view of a part of the sky where a supernova appeared in 1987. A supernova is a catastrophic explosion in a large star. Two hours before this supernova was seen through telescopes, it was announced by a spike in the count of neutrinos in several detectors on Earth. The arrow points to the star before it exploded.

Neutrinos are tiny, uncharged, nearly-massless particles that travel at almost the speed of light. A supernova produces a vast number of neutrinos; in fact, most of the energy of a supernova is given off in neutrinos. To learn more about neutrinos, see Physics at Home and Worth a Look just below.

To learn about Supernova 1987a, visit Hyperphysics and Physics Central, and for much more detail see AAVSO.
Image:
image © Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin; <a href="http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/aat050.html" target="_blank">image source</a>; <a href="http://www.compadre.org/informal/images/features/supernova 1987a-large.jpg" target="_blank">larger image</a>
image © Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin; image source; larger image
Image URL:
http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/supernova 1987a-large.jpg
Featured:
June 1, 2013 - June 16, 2013