View Full Version : Astronomers Measure the Shape of a Supernova

2005-Sep-07, 07:23 PM
SUMMARY: New data gathered by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) seems to indicate that supernovae might not be symmetrical when they explode - their brightness changes depending on how you look at them. This discovery is important, because astronomers use supernovae as an astronomical yardstick to measure distances to objects. If they're brighter or dimmer depending on how you're looking at them, it could cause errors in your distance calculations. But the new research indicates that they become more symmetrical over time, so astronomers just need to wait a little while before doing their calculations.

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