Supernovae – 60 Second Adventures in Astronomy (2/14)

By | December 9, 2019

60-Second Adventures in Astronomy. Number 2: Supernovae. One of the most mind-blowing events in the universe is the explosion
of a star. In 1054 CE Chinese astronomers spotted one so bright they could see it in daylight. Today you can still see a cloud of gas and dust from the same
explosion and because a drawing of it looked like a crab it was called the
Crab Nebula. Much like a supercharged lighthouse, the center of the star (now a
neutron star) spins 30 times a second and sends out a beam of radiation. Several
thousand of these have been discovered each about 20 kilometres across but with
a mass similar to the Sun. If we could imagine a cup full of neutron star
matter it would weigh a hundred billion tons. But supernovae are more than just impressive bangs, life forming elements like carbon and oxygen were created inside stars and the explosion of the star creates even more elements like gold
and platinum to create generations of stars and planets, and a variety of
attractive ornaments… So in a way everything is made of Stardust but luckily it’s not all quite as dense as a neutron star.

6 thoughts on “Supernovae – 60 Second Adventures in Astronomy (2/14)

  1. Caio Pumar Post author

    Just a slight correction, although most elements were "fabricated" inside stars, hydrogen is an exception: the smallest element was forged some time after the Big Bang, when the universe was cool and large enough to house cohesive nucleae.

  2. frequentSieben Post author

    actually , everything that isnt helium or hydrogen , was created by dying stars.


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