Scientists have reproduced the supernova explosion in the laboratory

Creating laboratory conditions of extremely strong magnetic field, scientists have shown that shock waves in it stretched in one direction. This explains the non-spherical shape of supernova remnants. The results were published in the Astrophysical journal.

When the life of a star ends in a supernova explosion, the shock waves from her spread in the environment at a distance of thousands of light years. With a uniform scattering power in all directions, the supernova remnants, in accordance with all the models must be spherically symmetric. However, observations show that most of them or axisymmetric barrel-shaped, i.e. elongated along a single axis and not a spherical.

Scientists have advanced various hypotheses to explain these observations, but so far none of them have been proven.

Astrophysicists from Ecole Polytechnique of Paris under the direction of Paul Mabe (Paul Mabey), together with British colleagues from the University of Oxford, Centre Helmholtz Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) in Germany and of the French Commission for alternative energies and atomic energy (CEA) decided to test one of the hypotheses.

It suggests that shock waves from stellar explosions in a strong magnetic field taking the preferential direction, as the physical and chemical properties of the interstellar medium under the action of magnetohydrodynamic shocks change.

Researchers using powerful pulsed lasers is almost reproduced this astrophysical phenomenon in a reduced scale in the Laboratory for intense lasers (LULI) Ecole Polytechnique of Paris. As a prototype, the scientists took the object G296.5 10.0, which is easy to observe in telescopes from Earth.

Helmholtz coil creating a uniform magnetic field about two hundred thousand times stronger than earth's — up to 10 Tesla — was designed and built by scientists from the Dresden laboratory of strong magnetic fields and of the Institute of radiation physics at HZDR. There also developed a generator of high voltage pulses, which were then posted in LULI. The authors note that such conditions are found only in the vastness of the Universe and never before in the lab were not repeated.

Astrophysicists have found that in extremely strong magnetic field is generated by the laser shock wave becomes elongated and extends in the same direction. In this case the major axis of the wave coincides with the direction of a uniform magnetic field.

The results of the experiment confirm the hypothesis that the axisymmetric form of supernova remnants associated with the magnetic field.

The researchers plan to continue observations of supernova remnants, as well as laboratory studies in LULI to determine the strength and direction of magnetic fields in the Universe.