Research report 2005 - Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

„Dead“ Star generates Cosmic Firework

Birkmann, Stephan M.; Quanz, Sascha P.; Krause, Oliver

Stern- und Planetenentstehung (Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning)
MPI für Astronomie, Heidelberg

Very massive stars terminate their short but intensive life with a powerful explosion - a Supernova. The energies set free are enormous making such explosions bright enough that they may outshine a whole galaxy for a short time. An expanding shell of dust and gas surrounding a neutron star remains, one could call the skeleton of the exploded star. A team of astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg and in the USA has found evidence, with the help of the space telescope SPITZER, that the exploded star responsible for the Supernova Cassiopeia A is still extremely active even 325 years after its death.

For the full text, see the German version.

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