|Supernova SN 1006|
SN 1006 supernova remnant
|Observation data (Epoch ?)|
|Supernova type||Type Ia (presumably)|
|Host galaxy||Milky Way|
|Right ascension||15h 2m 8s|
|Discovery date||May 1, 1006|
|Peak magnitude (V)||−7.5|
|Distance||7.2 kilolight-years (2.2 kpc)|
|Colour (B-V)||some sources cite
yellowish at visible spectrum
|Notable features||Brightest supernova in recorded history, and therefore most described of the pre-telescopic era|
SN 1006 was a supernova, widely seen on Earth beginning in the year 1006; Earth was about 7,200 light years away from the supernova. It was the brightest apparent magnitude stellar event in recorded history, reaching an estimated -7.5 visual magnitude. First appearing in the constellation of Lupus between April 30 and May 1 of that year, this "guest star" was described by observers in China, Japan, Iraq, Egypt, and Europe; and possibly recorded in North American petroglyphs.
Some sources state that the star was bright enough to cast shadows; it was certainly seen during daylight hours for some time, and the modern-day astronomer Frank Winkler has said that "in the spring of 1006, people could probably have read manuscripts at midnight by its light."
The supernova would have been very low in the sky there, rising to at most 5 degrees above the southern horizon and being visible for only 4–5 hours at a time. Atmospheric extinction and the need to find a site with a clear southern horizon make seeing even bright objects this low difficult; the "sometimes contracted, diffused, extinguished" remarks quoted above hint at atmospheric effects caused by the low apparent altitude of the object. This source provides independent data as to the supernova's magnitude and location in the sky, stating that "[i]n a wonderful manner this was sometimes contracted, sometimes diffused, and moreover sometimes extinguished. It was seen likewise for three months in the inmost limits of the south, beyond all the constellations which are seen in the sky". This description is often taken as probable evidence that the supernova was of Type Ia.
According to Songshi, the official history of the Song Dynasty (sections 56 and 461), the star seen on 1 May 1006 appeared to the south of constellation Di, east of Lupus and one degree to the west of Centaurus. The size of the visual explosion was half that of the moon, and shone so brightly that objects on the ground could be seen at night.
By December, it was again sighted in the constellation Di. The Chinese astrologer Zhou Keming, who was on his return to Kaifeng from his duty in Guangdong, interpreted the star to the emperor on May 30 as an auspicious star, yellow in color and brilliant in its brightness, that would bring great prosperity to the state over which it appeared.
There appear to have been two distinct phases in the early evolution of this supernova. There was first a three-month period at which it was at its brightest; after this period it diminished, then returned for a period of about eighteen months. Most astrologers interpreted the event as a portent of warfare and famine.
The associated supernova remnant from this explosion was not identified until 1965, when Doug Milne and Frank Gardner used the Parkes radio telescope to demonstrate that the previously known radio source PKS 1459-41, near the star Beta Lupi, had the appearance of a 30-arcminute circular shell. Over the next few years, both X-ray and optical emission from this remnant were also detected, and in 2010 the H.E.S.S. gamma-ray observatory announced the detection of very-high-energy gamma-ray emission from the remnant. The ~0.5° diameter remnant of SN 1006 lies at an estimated distance of 2.2 kiloparsecs from Earth, making its linear diameter approximately 20 parsecs. As expected for the remnant of a Type Ia supernova, no associated neutron star or black hole has been found.
A survey to find surviving companions of the SN 1006 progenitor found no subgiant or giant companion stars, indicating that SN 1006 probably comes from a double degenerate progenitor, that is, the merging of two white dwarfs.
A composite image of the supernova remnant.
- Winkler, P. Frank; Gupta, Gaurav; Long, Knox S. (2003). "The SN 1006 Remnant: Optical Proper Motions, Deep Imaging, Distance, and Brightness at Maximum". The Astrophysical Journal 585 (1): 324–335. arXiv:astro-ph/0208415. Bibcode:2003ApJ...585..324W. doi:10.1086/345985.
- "Astronomers Peg Brightness of History’s Brightest Star" (Press release). National Optical Astronomy Observatory. 2003-03-05. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- Burnham, Celestial Handbook, Dover, 1978, p. 1117–1122.
- "CNN.com - Ancient rock art may depict exploding star - Jun 5, 2006". CNN. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- The Arabic and Latin texts are in Goldstein, Bernard R. (1965). "Evidence for a Supernova of A.D. 1006". The Astronomical Journal 70 (1): 105–114. Bibcode:1965AJ.....70..105G. doi:10.1086/109679.
- Gardner, F. F.; Milne, D. K. (1965). "The supernova of A.D. 1006". The Astronomical Journal 70: 754. Bibcode:1965AJ.....70..754G. doi:10.1086/109813.
- Acero, F.; et al. (2010). "First detection of VHE γ-rays from SN 1006 by HESS". Astronomy and Astrophysics 516: A62. arXiv:1004.2124. Bibcode:2010A&A...516A..62A. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200913916.
- González Hernández, J. I.; Ruiz-Lapuente, P.; Tabernero, H. M.; Montes, D.; Canal, R.; Méndez, J.; Bedin, L. R. (2012). "No surviving evolved companions of the progenitor of SN 1006". Nature 489 (7417): 533–536. doi:10.1038/nature11447. PMID 23018963.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Supernova 1006|
- Cause of Supernova SN 1006 Revealed (27 Sept 2012 @ Universitat de Barcelona)
- Stories of SN 1006 in Chinese literature (PowerPoint)
- National Optical Observatory Press Release for March 2003
- Space.com Image of the Day 19 December 2005
- Ancient Rock Art Depicts Exploding Star Space.com report, June 6, 2006
- Experts question "supernova" rock art, Sky & Telescope Report, June 7, 2006
- Entry for supernova remnant of SN 1006 from the Galactic Supernova Remnant Catalogue
- X-ray image of supernova remnant of SN 1006, as seen with the Chandra X-ray Observatory
- Ancient rock art may depict exploding star
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), March 17, 2003
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), July 4, 2008
- Margaret Donsbach: The Scholar's Supernova
- SN 1006 on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images