Another Way to Explode

1 These are the temperature units named for Darwin's nemesis, Lord Kelvin- they have their origin at absolute zero (-273° centigrade, -460°F) and are the .same size as centigrade degrees. Water boils at +373 kelvins,

2 W. Baade and F. Zwicky, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA ), 20, 254 (1934)

3 Additional variations on the type I theme are elaborated in Chapter 8. The original type I of Zwicky and Baade is now called type la.

4 Supemovae are given alphabetical labels in order of the reports to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (now mostly e-mail) of the International Astronomical Union. So the first supernova of 1987 was SN 19H7A, the second SN 1987B When we get to the end of the alphabet, we

.shift to two letter designations: aa, ab, ac In 2001, as I write this, the last supernova of the year was 2001it, which means there were a total of 254 discovered (That's 26 with single letters plus 8 more double letters with 26 super novae each from "aa" through "hz," plus 20 more from "ia" to SN 2001 it )

5. A lavishly illustrated account with photographs by Roger Ressmeyer of the SN 1987A observations is my article "Supernova—Death of a Star" in National Geographic 173, 618 (1988). But if you want the schadenfreude of my flirtation with error concerning Sanduleak-69 202, this was vividly chronicled by Robin Bates in his NOVA documentary, "Death of a Star." The video is available from WGBH in lioston at http://main.wgbh org/wgbh/shop/wg 1411 html

An excellent popular-level survey of superno vac, and especially of SN 1987 A is Lawrence Marschall's The Supernova Story, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 1994,

6. "Submill isecond optica) pulsar in supernova 19H7A" hy Kristian, Pcn-nypacker, Mkldleditch, Hamuy, Imamura, Kunkel, Lucino, Morris, Muller, Perlmutter, Rawlings, Sasseen, Sheltcn, Steinman-Cameron, & Tuohy, Nature 338, 234 (1989).

7. John Middleditch has published a further analysis of the pulsed emission from SN 1987 A in New Astronomy 5, 243 (2000). The standard of proof should be higher the second time around. There is. as yet, no independent confirmation of this work, so it seems prudent to reserve judgment

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