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)

Supernova occurs

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.

The Crab Nebula is around 6,500 light years from Earth and is located
in the constellation of Taurus. – it is categorised as a supernova remnant, these type of nebula are created after a large star explodes at the end of its lifespan.


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.


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