Twin supernovae in NGC 1316
Credit:NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler

Was Kilroy Here?

An extremely unusual event was seen by NASA's Swift satellite - twin supernovae exploding in the galaxy NGC 1316. NGC 1316 seems like a rather dangerous place: galaxies the size of NGC 1316 usually have 3 supernovae every century, but NGC 1316 hosted 2 supernovae in less than 5 months. NGC 1316 is strange for another reason: it recently swallowed a spiral galaxy. Did the merger of these two galaxies somehow trigger all the supernovae explosions? Astronomers don't see how, but are hot on the case.

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:25:30 EDT