The 900-year-old mystery was finally solved when an international team of astronomers said they had identified the source of a famous supernova recorded by astronomers in 1181 AD.
The supernova, known as the “Chinese Guest Star,” was observed by Chinese and Japanese astronomers and was said to be as bright as Saturn and visible in the night sky for six months.
These astronomers also recorded the approximate location of supernovae in the sky, but even if astronomers could locate the sources of the other four bright supernovae in the Milky Way, their remains cannot be identified to date. was. It has been observed and recorded by astronomers over the last millennium.
A team of astronomers from Hong Kong, Spain, Hungary, France and the United Kingdom now states in a new treatise in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that the nebula, known as Pa 30, is the wreckage of a star that erupted violently in a supernova in 1181. I am. ..
The team observes that the nebula is expanding at an “extreme rate” of 1,100 km / s, or more than 2,500,000 mph. At this speed, it only takes 5 minutes to reach the moon from Earth.
Using this velocity, astronomers could trace it back to what is known as Parker’s star, and determined that it was created by a supernova about 1,000 years ago. Being a guest performer in China observed here on Earth.
“Historical reports place guest performers between the two Chinese constellations, Chuanche and Huagai,” said Professor Albert Zijlstra, one of the co-authors of the University of Manchester, in a statement. “The Parkers Star is in the right place, which means that both age and location fit the events of 1181.”
Parker’s star and Pa30 are believed to be the result of a fusion of two white dwarfs. This produces a relatively faint and rare supernova known as the Iax supernova.
“Only about 10% of supernovae are of this type, and they are not well understood,” Zijlstra said. “The fact that SN 1181 was faint but faded very slowly applies to this type. This is the only event that can study both the remaining nebulae and fused stars, with a description of the explosion itself. . “
For Zijlstra and the team, being able to resolve this cold cosmic incident was a satisfying effort for everyone involved.
“If you combine all this information, such as age, location, event brightness, and historically recorded 185-day period, you’ll see that Parker’s Star and Pa30 correspond to SN 1181. Stars and nebulae are possible. It’s great to be able to solve both historical and astronomical mysteries, “he said.
Analysis: Science never really stops, even if scientists are dead for a long time
The great thing about something like a Chinese guest performer is that it reminds us that science is a process more than anything else.
Almost a thousand years ago, astronomers recorded observations of unexplained phenomena and left them for scientists to pick up and study 1,000 years later.
Today, scientists make all sorts of observations and inferences that cannot yet be explained. Especially in cutting-edge fields such as quantum mechanics and theoretical physics, scientists decades or centuries later will eventually be able to explain.
Therefore, recording that data is an important part of the scientific process and supports even if we cannot explain it or do anything with it in our lifetime. Worth to do.
Astronomers finally solve the mystery of the famous 900-year-old Chinese supernova
Source link Astronomers finally solve the mystery of the famous 900-year-old Chinese supernova