Monday, October 03, 2011

You wait for ages and all of a sudden: 7 of them show up at once!

A Supernova, the death cry of a star. One supernova is a rare occurrence but in the galaxy designated Arp 220, a mere 250 million light-years from our Solar System, not only one supernova is occurring - but SEVEN!

According to IO9, a team of astronomers at Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory found that all seven supernovas went off in the last sixty years (allowing for the 250 million years for the light to reach Earth). In cosmic terms, that's the blink of an eye. European Southern Observatory astronomer Rodrigo Parra explains: "In Arp 220, we see far more supernovae than in our galaxy. We estimate that a star explodes in Arp 220 once every quarter [century]. In the Milky Way, there is only one supernova per century."

Astronomers believe it's proof that Arp 220 is one of the most efficient galaxies in the universe when it comes to making stars...and then destroying them. There's so many stars that have formed in that galaxy that there's always plenty of potential supernovae, even allowing for the fact that exactly when each star explodes in its own lifetime can vary by a whole lot more than sixty years. Team member John Conway adds: "Arp 220 is well-known as a place where star formation is very efficient" as well as being a supernova factory.

Astronomers however are not privy to the information gathered by UNETIDA. Acting Intelligence director for UNETIDA, Colonel "Whopper" Creedon, said that the multiple supernovae are consistent with information that he acquired recently regarding an ancient conflict. A conflict between two immensely powerful empires a quarter of a billion years ago in Arp 220 or Sangesh'ka as it was known locally. "Basically you had two immense empires, the Jurathi and the Wevnarr," explained Creedon. "Both were highly technically advanced and quite belligerent. We understand that each expanded their rule from a single world at either side of the Sangesh'ka galaxy conquering all they encountered - until of course they encountered each other. We are now witnessing the final moments of their eons-long war as they wipe each other out – totally, in a way we can barely fathom - by destroying their suns."


Bruce Russell said...

Man, is that ever sweet.

Former Grunt said...

Wouldn't that create seven black holes? - I'm getting Red Dwarf flashbacks :)