The Nightly News
An Astronomy blog by Joe Bauman, Salt Lake City
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  1. Blog 38: Another supernova!
    17 Jan, 2018
    Blog 38: Another supernova!
    Patrick Wiggins has done it again! At 2:49 a.m., Jan. 14, the Tooele County, Utah, amateur astronomer photographed a field of stars and galaxies in the area of Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper) -- and caught his fifth supernova. This one, which he discovered four years to the day after his first astonishing find, is hosted by the barred spiral galaxy NGC 6217. It's in the galaxy's sparsely-populated outskirts. A physicist notes that galaxies can have disks that extend beyond their obvious
  2. Blog 23: Fireworks
    27 Jul, 2017
    Blog 23: Fireworks
    The Fireworks Galaxy, scientific designation NGC 6946, has that nickname for a good reason: more supernovas have popped off there than in any other known island universe. Counting the latest, the supernova discovered by Patrick Wiggins at 8:28 p.m. May 13, a total of 10 of these largest known explosions have occurred in the galaxy since 1917. The runner-up is the galaxy M-61, a large example in the Virgo Cluster, which has generated seven since 1926. An ordinary galaxy like ours, which is at
  3. Blog 16: Patrick Wiggins’ super supernova
    17 May, 2017
    Blog 16: Patrick Wiggins’ super supernova
    On Saturday night my friend Patrick Wiggins discovered his third supernova, and this one’s a treasure. It is a Type II supernova in the famous Fireworks Galaxy. Let's define the term. A supernova is the catastrophic death explosion of a star, the largest blast known since the Big Bang. *** A Type I supernova happens when a white dwarf star sucks material away from a nearby star that is locked to it by gravity in a binary arrangement. Its mass grows so great that it blows up. *** A Type II

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