Overview: Mystery of SNR 0509

Overview
of "Tales of … Mysterious source of supernova in nearby galaxy solved by Hubble"
Description:
Tales of … Mysterious source of supernova in nearby galaxy solved by Hubble explains how scientists have discovered the cause of SNR 0509, visible in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. By carefully analyzing the data near the center of the supernova bubble, scientists can conclude that the cause of the Type Ia supernova that created the remnant was the collision of two white dwarf stars in close orbit with each other.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page
Grades: 10-12, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use Tales of … Mysterious source of supernova in nearby galaxy solved by Hubble as:

A content reading selection. Teachers should discuss the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary prior to having students read this selection.

An engagement activity. Have students read the selection. Ask them to describe how the sharp eye of the Hubble Space telescope allowed scientists to draw the conclusion they did.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "What is a type Ia supernova and how is it created?" Have students read the selection and write down as many questions as they can about the information in the text.

A source of information. Students can describe how a process of elimination led astronomers to conclude the cause of the Type Ia supernova.

Related materials

Lithograph: Supernova Remnant SNR 0509
http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/eds/overviews/print/lithos/snr0509.php

Press release: "Hubble Solves Mystery on Source of Supernova in Nearby Galaxy"
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2012/06/

See the Stars and stellar evolution section on "Teaching tools" page.



Overview: Mystery of SNR 0509