SN 1979C

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SN 1979C
Event typeType II supernova Edit this on Wikidata
Type II[1]
ConstellationComa Berenices
Right ascension12h 22m 58.58s
Declination+15° 47 52.7″
Galactic coordinatesG271.2454 +76.8848
Distance50 Mly
Progenitor type?
Colour (B-V)?
Peak apparent magnitude+12.23
Other designationsSN 1979C, AAVSO 1217+16

SN 1979C was a supernova about 50 million light-years away in Messier 100, a spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices. The Type II supernova was discovered April 19, 1979 by Gus Johnson, a school teacher and amateur astronomer.[2] This type of supernova is known as a core collapse and is the result of the internal collapse and violent explosion of a large star. A star must have at least 9 times the mass of the Sun in order to undergo this type of collapse.[3] The star that resulted in this supernova was estimated to be in the range of 20 solar masses.[1]

On November 15, 2010 NASA announced that evidence of a black hole had been detected as a remnant of the supernova explosion. Scientists led by Dr. Dan Patnaude from the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian in Cambridge, MA evaluated data gathered between 1995 and 2007 from several space based observatories. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission, as well as the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton, and Germany's ROSAT all participated in the examination.[4]

The researchers observed a steady source of X-rays and determined that it was likely that this was material being fed into the object either from the supernova or a binary companion. However, an alternative explanation would be that the X-ray emissions could be from the pulsar wind nebula from a rapidly spinning pulsar, similar to the one in the center of the Crab Nebula.[4] These two ideas account for several types of known X-ray sources. In the case of black holes the material that falls into the black hole emits the X-rays and not the black hole itself. Gas is heated by the fall into the strong gravitational field.

SN 1979C has also been studied in the radio frequency spectrum. A light curve study was performed between 1985 and 1990 using the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nancy Atkinson (November 15, 2010). "Has a Recent, Nearby Supernova Become a Baby Black Hole?". Universe Today. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  2. ^ Peter Edmonds (November 16, 2010). "The Man Who Discovered SN 1979C and Beat the Machines". Harvard & Smithsonian. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  3. ^ Gilmore, Gerry (2004). "The Short Spectacular Life of a Superstar". Science. 304 (5697): 1915–1916. doi:10.1126/science.1100370. PMID 15218132. S2CID 116987470. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
  4. ^ a b Trent Perrotto; Janet Anderson; Megan Watzke (Nov 15, 2010). "NASA'S Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole". NASA. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2010-11-15.
  5. ^ Weiler, K. W.; van Dyk, S. D.; Discenna, J. L.; Panagia, N.; Sramek, R. A. (1991). "The 10 year radio light curves for SN 1979C". Astrophysical Journal. 380: 161–166. Bibcode:1991ApJ...380..161W. doi:10.1086/170571.

External links[edit]