While the universe may appear static on human scales, it is constantly evolving and changing. Some astronomical objects do change on more rapid time scales, and one of them is the expanding remnant of a supernova explosion. In this Exploration, we will use images of a supernova remnant to measure the expansion rate of the remnant of a supernova that was discovered in 1993: SN1993J. This supernova exploded in the galaxy Messier 81, at a distance of about 11 million light years away from us, and it took 11 million years for the light from the explosion to reach us.
Radio images of the supernova show it is now surrounded by a remnant of expanding gas. From observations from 1993 through 2000, we can estimate how fast the gas is expanding, and predict how big the expanding cloud would appear today.
As always, if you need help, come to one of the free help sessions. See the syllabus for a schedule.
Students will be able to…
Use images to measure the size of the remnant of SN1993J at different times.
Use a graph to understand how the rate of expansion of the supernova remnant has changed with time.
Extrapolate from the observations to predict the expected size of the supernova remnant at later times.
Answer the questions at the end of this Exploration using the Word file below. Submit the worksheet and your graph using the Canvas Exploration 8 assignment.
What to Hand in:
Answer the questions at the end of this Exploration using the Word file below. Submit the Word using the Canvas Exploration 8 assignment.
Also submit a jpg file of your graph of the size of the supernova remnant vs. time.
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