Supernova Research Shows that the Universe is Expanding

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Supernova Research Shows that the Universe is Expanding 'There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be.' -Charles Sanders Pierce When it comes to science, there are many questions and few answers. Finding those few answers is what makes science interesting. One big question is science is whether or not the Universe is expanding. By observing and researching supernovas, one can decide that the Universe is expanding. The word nova means new star (Ferris 59). Early in times, a sudden increase in brightness in the sky would be considered a new star. "It wasn't until these new stars of 1054, recorded by China, and those of 1572 and 1604, made famous by Tycho Biahe and Johannes Kepler, would now be classified as supernova (North 587). Those two famous astronomers, along with China gave supernova its name. When supernovas were first seen they were considered to be a part of our own universe. It was because "In 1917, Albert Einstein and other physicists believed our own Galaxy was all there was to the Universe- a uniformly dense collection of stars and other matter floating in the void" (1). Einstein was regarded as one of the most brilliant men of all time. People would surely not disagree with the mighty Einstein! No one would challenge Einstein until 1929. It was then that Edwin Hubble proposed that the universe was much larger than our own galaxy. His evidence was that the galaxy light was redshifted. (1) Redshifting, for example is like "the lowered pitch of a fire truck's siren as it races away, and that the light from more distant galaxies was redshifted farther than closer ones" (1). With Hubble's evidence it was immediately clear that there was more to supernovas than met the eye. With this evidence in mind Einstein called his theory on the Universe, "The biggest blunder of my life." Knowing that there is more to our Universe than our own galaxy scientists have been able to learn many things about the stars. It was this knowledge that lead scientists to learn that the early stars "were composed of hydrogen, helium and a very small amount of lithium and beryllium and almost nothing else" (6-2) These elements laid the structure for the structure of the stars.

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