About seven thousand years ago, a star suddenly exploded in a remote corner of outer space, dropping the outer layers of matter. A relatively large and massive star suddenly ran into a serious energy problem – its physical integrity was in jeopardy. When the boundary of stability was passed, an exciting, extremely powerful one of the most catastrophic explosions in the entire Universe broke out, giving rise to a supernova.
For six thousand years, light from this star from the constellation Taurus raced through outer space and finally reached Earth. It happened in 1054. In Europe, science was then slumbering, and among the Arabs it was experiencing a period of stagnation, but in another part of the Earth, observers noticed an object glistening majestically in the sky before sunrise. Continue reading
White dwarfs are one of the most fascinating topics in the history of astronomy: celestial bodies were discovered for the first time, possessing properties that are very far from those with which we deal in terrestrial conditions. And, in all likelihood, the resolution of the riddle of white dwarfs laid the foundation for studies of the mysterious nature of matter hidden somewhere in different corners of the Universe.
There are many white dwarfs in the universe. At one time, they were considered rare, but a careful study of the photographic plates obtained at Mount Palomar Observatory (USA) showed that their number exceeds 1500. It was possible to estimate the spatial density of white dwarfs: it turns out that in a sphere with a radius of 30 light-years there Continue reading
Scientists strongly believe that black holes really exist. Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicted the existence of such objects back in 1917, and over the past decades, astronomers have found plenty of evidence of their presence in many areas of outer space.
More than 5 objects are known, which probably include black holes. However, there is only indirect evidence, but there is no conclusive evidence. The most likely candidate for black holes is the X-ray source Cygnus X-1, discovered in the early 1970s in X-binary systems. The mass of the source in this system, which can be estimated from the observed speed of the optical star in its orbit and Kepler’s laws, exceeds the limiting mass for a neutron star. The Chandra X-ray Observatory found in several galaxies with a high rate Continue reading