On July 4, 1054, a supernova (SN 1054) was observed by astronomers and stargazers across the Northern Hemisphere, and possibly Australia. Its remnant, the Crab Nebula, is among the most-studied objects outside our solar system.A supernova is one of the most explosive events in the universe. A supernova occurs when a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel (mostly hydrogen and helium). The core of the star collapses, violently ejecting its outer envelope of material into space in a huge shock wave. These blast materials are the filaments still visible as the Crab Nebula.The star that went supernova in 1054 was so massive that it left only a rapidly rotating ball of neutrons called a pulsar. The Crab Pulsar is only about 20 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter, but has a mass greater than the Sun! The Crab Pulsar pulses, or spins, about 30 times a second.SN 1054 was visible as a bright, glowing star for about two years! Astronomers in China, Japan, and what is today Iraq recorded the event. Some historians think that petroglyphs left by Ancestral Puebloans may also have recorded SN 1054. Other historians think the oral tradition of Aboriginal Australians may also refer to SN 1054.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry Aboriginal Australian Noun
people and culture native to Australia and its surrounding islands. Also called Aborigine.
Ancestral Puebloans Plural Noun
(1200 BCE-1300 CE) people and culture native to what is now the southwestern United States. Also called Anasazi.
person who studies space and the universe beyond Earth's atmosphere.
to fall apart completely.
the extremely hot center of Earth, another planet, or a star.
Encyclopedic Entry: core diameter Noun
width of a circle.
to get rid of or throw out.
material found in a roughly spherical shape around a star.
very thin fiber or thread-like structure.
measure of the amount of matter in a physical object.
very large or heavy.
cloud of gas and dust in space.
particle in an atom having no electrical charge.
Northern Hemisphere Noun
half of the Earth between the North Pole and the Equator.
oral tradition Noun
history, characteristics, and mythology of a culture transmitted through vocal, not written, methods.
carving or drawing on rock.
rapidly spinning neutron star that emits beams (pulses) of radiation.
to preserve observations with notes, drawings, photographs, audio or video recordings.
to direct attention to something.
something that is left over.
shock wave Noun
moving, measurable change in pressure and density of a material.
solar system Noun
the sun and the planets, asteroids, comets, and other bodies that orbit around it.
large ball of gas and plasma that radiates energy through nuclear fusion, such as the sun.
sudden, violent explosion of a massive star.
scientific instrument that uses mirrors to view distant objects.
all known matter, energy, and space.
strong, destructive force.
able to be seen.