An Astronomical Phenomena: Mickey Mouse in Space

Not too long ago, and just 18 months into her study at the Technion in the Rothschild Scholars Technion Excellence Program, Aldana Grichener is now publishing her first scientific article about Mickey Mouse. But in space.

What exactly happened to form this shape?

Supernovas. When massive stars near the end of their life and shrink 1000x in size. Here's how they put it: "Supernova is a phenomenon typical of heavy stars at the end of their lives. This process begins with the collapse of the star into itself, an event in which the radius of the inner part known as the core shrinks, becoming a thousand times smaller. In this process, in which the inside of the star shrinks to a diameter of about 20 km, a neutron star of enormous density is created: one billion tons per cubic centimeter. The shrinking, which is the result of gravitational force, is stopped at some point and replaced by a huge explosion that expels the star’s outer shell – the parts that remained during the shrinking process – at a speed of millions of km per hour."

The Ear Phenomenon

“When we study the morphology of supernova remnants, we find that a third of them have two ‘ears’ protruding from the main body. The usual explanation for supernova explosions fails to explain the ear phenomenon, and in this paper we propose an alternative model consistent with various simulations, observations and calculations.”

According to Grichener’s and Prof. Soker’s model, the ears are formed by the emission of jets launched during the explosion of a star or shortly afterward. These gas jets are emitted as a result of the rapid rotation of the core that precedes the collapse, and they carry an enormous quantity of kinetic energy. “On the way, these jets encounter exploding gas, and this encounter inflates the ears that we see. Therefore, we claim that a paradigm shift should be made in the explanation of the explosion of heavy stars, known as the core-collapse supernova.

See the image below, which depicts a supernova remnant, with the ‘ears’ circled.

Source: Technion: Mickey Mouse in Space

Posted in Science & Technology on Apr 06, 2017


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An Astronomical Phenomena: Mickey Mouse in Space

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