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May 10, 2010 - Liberating Star Stuff

Liberating Star Stuff Just over a thousand years ago, the stellar explosion known as supernova SN 1006 was observed and documented in China, Japan, Europe, and the Arab world. It was brighter than Venus—the brightest supernova ever recorded on Earth—and was visible during the day for weeks. Recent observations of the remnant of SN 1006 reveal the liberation of elements such as iron that were previously locked up inside the star. Because no material falls back into a neutron star or black hole after this type of supernova explosion, the material has been released into the cosmos for good. This is a composite image of the SN 1006 supernova remnant, which is located about 7,000 light years from Earth. The data is from X-ray (blue), optical (yellow, orange, and light blue), and radio (red) telescopes.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/G.Cassam-Chenaï, et al.; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF/GBT/VLA/Dyer, Maddalena & Cornwell; Optical: Middlebury College/F.Winkler, NOAO/AURA/NSF/CTIO Schmidt & DSSSchmidt & DSS

Weekly Calendar

May 10-16, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 10

Mercury appears stationary

1967: M2-F2 lifting body crash-lands; footage later becomes opening scene of “The Six Million Dollar Man”

Tuesday 11

1974: SMS-1 launched, first geostationary weather satellite
2009: STS-125 Atlantis launched, fifth and final Hubble servicing mission

Wednesday 12

Mercury 8° south of Moon

1930: Adler Planetarium opens, first planetarium in Western Hemisphere

Thursday 13

Ascension Day

New Moon 9:04 PM ET

1964: Apollo A-001 launched (Little Joe II test flight)

Friday 14

1973: Skylab launched
2009: Herschel and Planck space observatories launched
2010: STS-132 Atlantis launched

Saturday 15

1958: Sputnik 3 launched
1963: Faith 7 launched, last Mercury program flight
1997: STS-84 Atlantis launched, sixth Mir docking mission

Sunday 16

Venus 0.09° south of Moon

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.