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Re: Hubble pinpoints red supergiant that exploded (Forwarded)

Subject: Re: Hubble pinpoints red supergiant that exploded Forwarded
From: Joseph Lazio
Date: 05 Mar 2006 13:50:41 -0500
Newsgroups: sci.astro
>>>>> "JS" == Jonathan Silverlight 
>>>>> <jsilverlight@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

>> Hubble pinpoints red supergiant that exploded

JS> Does anyone know what changes occur in such a star before it
JS> explodes?

Depends in how much detail you want to know. :) Broadly, yes.
However, specific details depend upon quantities such as mass,
rotation, magnetic field strength, previous mass loss (which in turn
may depend upon metallicity), binarity, ....

Broadly, of course, you're probably familiar that the interior goes
through a series of fusing successively more massive elements.
Without checking my memory, my recollection is that the final stages
can proceed on very rapid time scales, so rapid that the outer layers
of the star wouldn't have or would just barely have time to respond.
For instance, I think that some of the final burning stages can last
only about a day.

Perhaps the most telling change, and one that can be detected
remotely, would be a burst of neutrinos indicating that core collapse
had started.

You might want to take a look at Heger et al. (<URL:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=2003ApJ...591..288H 
>), which describes some of these issues and has references as well.
(Note that there is both a journal article and an astro-ph e-print.)

JS> For instance, how much notice will we get that Betelgeuse is about
JS> to explode?  Is it changing now?? :-)

For Betelgeuse in particular, a quick search of the astronomy
literature finds little discussing its possible future evolution.
There's an abstract by Mathews et al. (<URL:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1998AAS...192.6703M 
>), but I find no indication that this work was ever published in any
more detail.

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