Cosmic Rays and Supernovae

23 Apr 2013

At .... speculates on a supernova explosion in AD1006 as texts from the time mention a space light so bright it cast shadows at night. Observations of something unusual in the sky in 1006 come from China, Egypt, Baghdad, Japan and Switzerland. Radio astronomers in 1965 claimed to have identified the culprit, assumed to be a supernova as supernovae were very popular at the time, which exploded and left behind (for the astronomers of 1965 to witness) a 60 light-year diameter shell of glowing gas. Others might disagree but for historical reasons, the assumed identification is generally accepted in astronomical circles and rarely questioned. The fall-out is a paper in Science that investigates links between supernova remnants and cosmic rays - a by no means certain assumption (which has been questioned). The impact of cosmic rays with an origin in supernovae is an important consideration. Astronomers are not sure where cosmic rays come from, we learn, but supernovae are one of the suspects.

Meanwhile, at ... NASA has been using its MASTER instrument to peer down on Earth from Space, collecting temperature information and lots of new knowledge in the process.