Category: "Stars"


  09:58:49 pm, by   , 393 words  
Categories: Stars

ORNL team discovers new way to spin up pulsars


OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Jan. 5, 2007 — A team of scientists using Oak Ridge National Laboratory supercomputers has discovered the first plausible explanation for a pulsar's spin that fits the observations made by astronomers. Anthony Mezzacappa of the Department of Energy lab's Physics Division and John Blondin of North Carolina State University explain their results in the Jan. 4 issue of the journal Nature. According to three-dimensional simulations they performed at the Leadership Computing Facility, located at ORNL, the spin of a pulsar is determined not by the spin of the original star, but by the shock wave created when the star's massive iron core collapses.

ORNL team discovers new way to spin up pulsars
ORNL team discovers new way to spin up pulsars

This visualization shows the progression of spiral formation in a supernova, which eventually results in a pulsar's spin. The darkest portion of the accretion shock denotes the front edge of the wave as it rotates around the supernova's center. Three-dimensional computer models are the only models that show this effect. This 3D model of pulsar formation was performed at DOE's Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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  09:19:19 pm, by   , 72 words  
Categories: Stars

Mira and Her Tail

Mira and Her Tail
Mira and Her Tail


A new ultraviolet mosaic from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows a speeding star that is leaving an enormous trail of "seeds" for new solar systems. The star, named Mira (pronounced my-rah) after the latin word for "wonderful," is shedding material that will be recycled into new stars, planets and possibly even life as it hurls through our galaxy.

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