Asked by quique to Jesse, Denise, Daniel, Anna on 16 Jun 2014.
Keywords: astronomy, formation, supernova
It seems that stars spend their energy and these large explosions are the end result of stars. Supernovas are these huge explosions of very old and dense stars. They are important because the disperse many elements throughout the universe.
Hi quique, great question! The most common way for a supernova to form is when a star has run out of fuel and collapses. Pressure inside it is no longer able to counter it’s own gravity.
During the collapse, temperatures and pressures inside the star rise and allow new ways to produce energy and dissipate elements to the universe as Daniel mentioned. The more mass that collapses, the more energy you get inside a supernova. Some scientists think that the biggest supernovas are caused by stars collapsing into a black hole.
A supernova happens where there is a change in the core, or center, of a star. A change can occur in two different ways, with both resulting in a supernova.
The first type of supernova happens in binary star systems. Binary stars are two stars that orbit the same point. One of the stars, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, steals matter from its companion star. Eventually, the white dwarf accumulates too much matter. Having too much matter causes the star to explode, resulting in a supernova.
The second type of supernova occurs at the end of a single star’s lifetime. As the star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into its core. Eventually, the core is so heavy that it cannot withstand its own gravitational force. The core collapses, which results in the giant explosion of a supernova. The sun is a single star, but it does not have enough mass to become a supernova.
Hi quique, thanks for asking, so I can also read the answers and learn it 😉
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