A107 Supernova Experiment Art of astronomy Worksheet Paper Introduction While the universe may appear static on human scales, it is constantly evolving an

A107 Supernova Experiment Art of astronomy Worksheet Paper Introduction

While the universe may appear static on human scales, it is constantly evolving and changing. Some astronomical objects do change on more rapid time scales, and one of them is the expanding remnant of a supernova explosion. In this Exploration, we will use images of a supernova remnant to measure the expansion rate of the remnant of a supernova that was discovered in 1993: SN1993J. This supernova exploded in the galaxy Messier 81, at a distance of about 11 million light years away from us, and it took 11 million years for the light from the explosion to reach us.

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Radio images of the supernova show it is now surrounded by a remnant of expanding gas. From observations from 1993 through 2000, we can estimate how fast the gas is expanding, and predict how big the expanding cloud would appear today.

As always, if you need help, come to one of the free help sessions. See the syllabus for a schedule.

Learning Goals:

Students will be able to…

Use images to measure the size of the remnant of SN1993J at different times.
Use a graph to understand how the rate of expansion of the supernova remnant has changed with time.
Extrapolate from the observations to predict the expected size of the supernova remnant at later times.

Answer the questions at the end of this Exploration using the Word file below. Submit the worksheet and your graph using the Canvas Exploration 8 assignment.

What to Hand in:

Answer the questions at the end of this Exploration using the Word file below. Submit the Word using the Canvas Exploration 8 assignment.

Ex8_SN1993J_form.docx

Also submit a jpg file of your graph of the size of the supernova remnant vs. time. A107 – The Art of Astronomy
NAME:
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Exploration 8: Expansion of SN1993J
Due by 11:59 PM on March 29 (submit this form via the Canvas assignment tool)
What to hand in: Upload this completed worksheet and the jpg file of your graph to Canvas
using the Exploration 8 assignment.
Part 1. Enter your measurements for the diameter of the supernova remnant in centimeters for
each date on which it was observed. The columns labeled “Days” give the number of days
since supernova 1993J exploded.
Day
s
Diameter in cm
March 28, 1993
0
0
May 17, 1993
50
June 27, 1993
91
Sept. 19, 1993
175
Nov. 6, 1993
223
Dec. 17, 1993
264
Jan. 28, 1994
306
March 15, 1994
352
April 22, 1994
390
June 22, 1994
451
Aug. 30, 1994
520
Dec. 23, 1994
635
Date
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Date
Days
Feb. 12, 1995
686
May 11, 1995
774
Dec. 19, 1995
996
April 8, 1996
1107
Sept. 1, 1996
1253
Dec. 13, 1996
1356
June 7, 1997
1532
Nov. 15, 1997
1693
June 3, 1998
1893
Dec. 7, 1998
2080
Feb. 25, 2000
2525
Diameter in cm
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Plot your observations in a graph with the number of days on the horizontal (x) axis and the size
in centimeters on the vertical (y) axis. You can use one of the tools below to plot a graph (or any
of your own, including Excel), and save the graph to a jpg file. Your graph should use the “XY”
plot option, with limits on the x axis from 0-3000 days and limits on the y-axis from 0 to 60 cm.
Upload the jpg file of your graph along with the assignment.
•
•
https://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/
https://www.onlinecharttool.com/graph
Note that the horizontal axis should be labeled “Days” and vertical axis of the graph should be
labeled “Diameter in Centimeters.”
So that you can extrapolate how big the remnant will be in 2020, add an additional point for the
year 2020, at about 10,000 days, and a y-axis value of 20 cm.
Part 2. Answer the questions below.
1. Has the expansion rate increased or decreased over time, or stayed the same? What
evidence suggests this is the case?
Click here to enter text.
2. Examine your graph to determine how many days after the supernova explosion did the
expansion rate change?
Click here to enter text.
3. The remnant approximately doubled in size in 1750 days from May 1995 until Feb. 2000.
How many centimeters would you expect the remnant to be in 2005?
Click here to enter text.
4.
Each centimeter on the images of the supernova remnant corresponds to a distance of
6600 astronomical units in Messier 81. What was the actual size of the remnant in the
year 2000 in astronomical units? Is this bigger or smaller than the Solar System?
Click here to enter text.

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