Supernova Superstar!


(The star before it exploded – Credit: NASA)

Have you ever looked at the night sky to see dozens of stars shining down on you? You may feel that you can touch them but actually, they’re light years away!

One wonders, what happens to a star when it comes into nonexistence and eventually dies?
It goes on to become a Supernova!

What is a Supernova?
? A Supernova is a big, bright and super powerful explosion at the end of a star’s life.
? A Supernova happens when there is a change in the core of a star.

This change can appear in two ways, both causing this explosive phenomenon…
1️⃣ In a binary star system: If a white dwarf star, (which is a smaller star that is already used up all its nuclear fuel) surrounds a massive star, it may start taking out the fuel from the massive star, hereby causing it to explode.
2️⃣ When a single star dies: When a massive star uses up all its fuel, the core explodes in just a fraction of a second, which pushes off the outside core of the star, to make a supernova.

Supernovas happen on an average of two per century in our galaxy – The Milky Way.

What happens next?
? After the Supernova, the star will become either a neutron star or a black hole.
? A Neutron Star is an extremely dense piece of matter, around 20km in diameter, but more mass than the sun!
? A Black Hole is something with such a strong gravitational pull that even light cannot escape from it.

Supernova Super Facts:
? A nearby supernova can cause a mass extinction because of the colossal amount of radiation it produces.
? A supernova’s energy released could equal to the total energy output of the sun in its 10 billion year lifetime and it may outshine an entire galaxy of stars!
? The earliest supernova was observed by Chinese astronomers in 185 AD.

Astronomers predict that in the year 2022 (give or take a year) a pair of stars will collide, causing the next dazzling Supernova.

In the true sense, these stars end their life with a bang!

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