A star that suddenly increases greatly in brightness
because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass.
- a supernova is the final, gigantic explosion of a supergaint star at the end of it life.
- a supernova last for just week a week or so, but shine as brightly as a galaxy of 100 billion ordinary star.
This ‘s a supernova bright enough for me using a even small telescope
observers to see from my backyad in MIlton Keynes, and it’s in a bright galaxy
in Ursa Major well placed for viewing during evening hours.
(Animation by E. Guido / N. Howes / M. Nicolini)
SN 1572 Tycho’s Supernova in the constellation of Cassiopeia,
it appeared in early November 1572 and was independtly discovered by many individuals.
- supernova occur when a supergaint star uses up its hydrogen and helium fuel and shrinks – this boosts pressure in its core, enough to fuse heavy elements such as iron.
- when iron beings to fuse in its core, a star collapses instantly – then rebounds in a mighty explosion.
- seen in 1987, supernova 1987A was the first viewed with the naked eye since Kepler’s 1604 sighting.
Supernove remnant 1987A continues to reveal its secrets.
(Photo: Hubble Space Telescope)
- supernova remnants (leftover) are the gigantic, cloudy shells of material swelling out from supernovae.
- a supernova seen by Chinese astronomers in AD 185 was though to be such a bad omen that it sparked a revolution.
- a dramatic supernova was seen by Chinese astronomers in 1054, creating the Crab nebula.
Did you know?
- many of the elements that make up the human body were forged in supernove.
- elements heavier than iron are made in supernove.