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The Cosmic Mystery Tour$
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Nicholas Mee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831860

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831860.001.0001

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The Crab and the Jellyfish

The Crab and the Jellyfish

(p.116) The Crab and the Jellyfish
The Cosmic Mystery Tour

Nicholas Mee

Oxford University Press

Supernova explosions have been recorded as guest stars for thousands of years, but their true nature was only revealed in the twentieth century, largely through the work of Baade and Zwicky. Following Hubble’s determination of the distance to the Andromeda Galaxy, Baade and Zwicky established a new class of extremely bright stellar outburst that they named supernovae. They realized that such explosions in distant galaxies were comparable to the occasional guest star reported in the historical records including stars recorded by Tycho and Kepler. We now know that very large stars that have consumed their nuclear fuel may explode and produce a supernova. The star may be completed destroyed in the eruption or its core may collapse to form a neutron star or black hole.

Keywords:   Baade, supernova, Zwicky, guest star, Tycho, neutron star

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