There’s a weird supernova that has scientists scratching their head, so here’s a video from Doodle Science that will give the basics of the life cycle of a star.
And here’s a longer video that goes in-depth on star formation, explosion, and all the different forms stars can take — in life and death.
Here’s a bit on the weird supernova from The Verge:
In September 2014, when astronomer Iair Arcavi found a new supernova in the night sky, he didn’t think much of it. It looked like any other star that had just died and violently burst apart. The object had brightened some time ago, and now it was fading — a sign that the explosive event was coming to an end. Since the juiciest part seemed to be over, Arcavi abandoned the star in search of supernovae that had exploded more recently.
But robotic telescopes continued to monitor the star over the next couple of months, just in case anything interesting happened. Then, in early 2015, Arcavi asked a student to look through telescope data to see if any of the stars they had found might be acting strange. Sure enough, that “ordinary” supernova wasn’t so normal anymore. It was getting brighter — almost as if it had exploded again. “We’ve never seen a supernova do that before,” Arcavi, an observational astronomer at UC Santa Barbara and Las Cumbres Observatory, tells The Verge.
This immediately intrigued Arcavi, so he and his team started monitoring the star every couple days with the Las Cumbres Observatory’s telescopes located all over the world. Over the next two years, their data unveiled just how strange the supernova was: it stayed bright for a lengthy 600 days, instead of the typical 100 days supernovae usually shine before finally going dark. During this time, the star repeatedly grew brighter and fainter up to five times. It was like it was erupting over and over again, as if the star just refused to die.
This supernova, detailed today in the journal Nature, is unlike anything ever observed before. Now, scientists are scrambling to figure out what may have caused the strange fluctuations they saw. The leading idea is that this may have been something of an imposter — an event that looks like a supernova, but doesn’t ultimately lead to the destruction of a star. But even the best theories don’t quite match what astronomers observed, so the origins of this supernova still remain something of a mystery. “No existing model or theory of supernovae fully explains what we see here,” says Arcavi.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.