September 25, 2023
Astronomers have found no signs of massive stars turning into supernovae

Astronomers have found no signs of massive stars turning into supernovae

Stars explode with a mass eight times greater than the Sun supernovae When they finished the nuclear fusion cycle, astronomers have not yet seen this happen to those with a mass greater than 23 solar masses. Now, a team of researchers in a galaxy has searched for traces of these rare supernovae and found nothing.

The approach of astronomers relied on Elements that supernovae tend to propagate from the universe. It’s only when a massive star begins to fuse iron into its core that collapse and eruption are inevitable, but that’s not before other heavy elements are produced – oxygen, carbon, neon, sodium and magnesium, and iron core. .

When a star explodes, these elements are scattered throughout the universe, but not just them. The process of supernova collapse and explosion can also generate other elements, so it is responsible for the manufacture of elements 8 to 37 in the periodic table. The distribution of carbon and neon is divided into supernovae and red giants.

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Well, if supernovae distribute all these chemical elements, then they must be present in galaxies rich in blue stars, that is, massive galaxies. The authors of the new study then looked at one of them, known as Arp 299. The goal was to measure the abundance of chemical elements produced and expelled by stellar explosions, but they found a mismatch.

This periodic table shows the elements that form from stellar explosions, among other cosmic processes (Image: cloning/Jennifer Johnson/ESA/NASA/AASNOVA)

The amount of heavier elements such as iron, neon and magnesium was much lower compared to theoretical models of how stars enrich a variety of elements in their environment. Then the researchers removed from these models the chemical distribution of the elements by stars with masses between 23 and 27 solar masses, and the simulation result was a radical approximation between the model and the observation of the galaxy Arp 299.

This means that the mathematical models, which are based on stellar explosions above 23 solar masses, may be wrong. If these massive supernovae are removed from simulations, they become more like the reality that astronomers observe.

Of course, there are still all the heavy elements in these galaxies, thanks to the explosions of smaller stars, but the amount of these elements decreases a lot if we do not count the stars above 23 solar masses. Astronomers are still not sure why they apparently refuse to explode, but one possible hypothesis is that they collapse directly like black holes.

Source: daily space

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