Central Engine Supernova

  • Released Wednesday, January 27, 2010
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In March 2009, NASA's Swift observed the supernova SN 2009bb in the spiral galaxy NGC 3278. The explosion is apparent in visible light, but not at ultraviolet and X-ray energies, and satellites recorded no gamma-ray burst. Nevertheless, particle jets reaching 85 percent the speed of light accompanied the explosion. Astronomers believe these jets are powered by a "central engine" — likely a newborn black hole at the star's center, a scenario that also fits most gamma-ray bursts.

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Swift/Stefan Immler

Release date

This page was originally published on Wednesday, January 27, 2010.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:54 PM EDT.


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This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • Various Small Astrophysics projects (ID: 2010139)
    Friday, December 17, 2010 at 5:00AM
    Produced by - Robert Crippen (NASA)