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Science Today is a daily radio feature produced by the University of California for the CBS Radio Network. From breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture and the environment to insights into the world around us, Science Today covers it all.

Posts tagged with ‘supernova’

Astronomers observe a supernovae within hours of the explosion

For the first time ever, scientists have gathered direct evidence of a rare Wolf-Rayet star being linked to a specific type of stellar explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory talks to us about this star:

We never had a nearby example where we could say, ‘oh this star became this supernova.’ So this was the first time we can directly point to it and say because we heated up this wind and because we could see the wind that looks just like a Wolf-Rayet star, we know that the Wolf-Rayet star blew up and then became this type of supernova.

Nugent says they caught this star – a whopping 360 million light years away – just a few hours after it exploded. 

The source of about half of the heaviest elements in the Universe, including gold, has been a mystery to scientists for years. In this radio segment, UC Santa Cruz astronomer Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz describes the two theories as to its origins, including an alternative model he’s working on.