• Albert G. Petschek

Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Robert P. Harkness, J. Craig Wheeler
    Pages 1-29
  3. David Branch
    Pages 30-58
  4. Robert P. Kirshner
    Pages 59-75
  5. Richard A. Sramek, Kurt W. Weiler
    Pages 76-90
  6. Roger A. Chevalier
    Pages 91-110
  7. Peter G. Sutherland
    Pages 111-142
  8. Adam S. Burrows
    Pages 143-181
  9. Jerry Cooperstein, Edward A. Baron
    Pages 213-266
  10. Ronald W. Mayle
    Pages 267-289
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 291-293

About this book


For millennia mankind has watched as the heavens move in their stately progression from night to night and from year to year, presaging with their changes the changing seasons. The sun, the moon, and the planets move in what appears to be an unchanging firmament, except occasionally when a new "star" appears. Among the new stars there are comets, novae, and finally supernovae, the subject of this book. Superstitious mankind regarded these events as significant portents and recorded them carefully so that we have records of supernovae that may reach back as far as 1300 B. C. (Clark and Stephenson, 1977; Murdin and Murdin, 1985). The Cygnus Loop, believed to be a 15,000-year-old supernova remnant at a distance of only 800 pc (Chevalier and Seward, 1988), must have awed our ancestors. Tycho's supernova of 1572, at a distance of 2500 pc, had a magnitude of -4. 0, comparable to Venus at its brightest, and Kepler's supernova of 1604 had a magnitude of - 3 or so. Thus the Cygnus Loop supernova might have had a magnitude of - 6 or so, and should have been readily visible in daytime. A supernova in Vela, about 8000 B. C. was comparably close, as was SN 1006, whose magnitude may have been -9. While most of the supernova records come from the Old World, the supernova of 1054 is recorded in at least one petroglyph in the American West.


Supernova astronomy astrophysics cosmology gravitation gravity neutron star spectroscopy

Editors and affiliations

  • Albert G. Petschek
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsNew Mexico Institute of Mining and TechnologySocorroUSA
  2. 2.Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1990
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-7951-8
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-3286-5
  • Series Print ISSN 0941-7834
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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