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Supernova Forensics

Many elements we find on Earth or other planets are made in the core of stars. When a star explodes as supernova, it shoots these elements into space. Amazing discoveries in the subsequent search for traces of supernovae is the topic of a lecture in Bern by Alicia Margarita Soderberg, Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University USA.

Alicia Margarita Soderberg (Photo: Princeton University)

Alicia Margarita Soderberg (Photo: Princeton University)

What exactly happens during an explosive stellar death? The study of supernova explosions has long focused on the strong radioactively-powered optical signal in the weeks following the monster explosions. The rate of such explosions is roughly once per century per galaxy. A team led by the well-known Harvard professor Alicia Margarita Soderberg is also studying the explosions in other wavelengths and theoretical modeling of the final evolutionary stages of stars has shed light on the final decades in a star’s life.

Coupled with deep sea mud core samples from Earth that show radioactive signatures of recent supernovae the team reveals that the explosions were uncomfortably close to our home.

Alicia Margarita Soderberg will give a lecture titled «Supernova Forensics: A post mortem investigation of the life cycle of stars» on Friday, June 5th, 2015, 17 to 18 h, University of Bern, Building Exakte Wissenschaften, Sidlerstrasse 5, Lecture Hall # 099. Admission is free. The lecture will be in English. (gs)

Historic encounter
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