Pciture Noa Kaplan

Noa Kaplan, a graduate student of Noam Soker, presented a poster at a conference on supernovae (exploding stars) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) near Munich and was awarded an Outstanding Poster Award.


The poster describes a model that explains the short (several days) brightness events that might occur during the several months to two years when the emission from the supernova decays. The model was developed by Noa Kaplan, Muhammad Akashi (research assistant at the Technion and faculty at Kinneret College), and Noam Soker, and is based on jets that the neutron star (or black hole), which remains in the center of the star after the explosion, launches.


The puzzle of understanding the explosion mechanism of massive stars is unresolved, and Noam Soker's research group has been developing a model in which massive star are exploded by jets. Jets such as these appear in many astrophysical systems and are an important key in understanding many problems, such as the explosion mechanism of massive stars.


The model presented by Noa assumes that a few months after the explosion the neutron star launches two jets in opposite directions for a short period (hours to days) and at a speed close to the speed of light. The collision of the gas jets with the material expelled previously during the supernova explosion itself turns kinetic energy into light, increasing the intensity of the radiation a few months after the explosion. The model is of great importance as it reinforces the assumption that jets play an important role in the explosion of massive stars.