ANDREW MACFADYEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDREW MACFADYEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova jets at 27 seconds. Image 2 of 3. Computer simulation of jets (red) leaving the core of a supernova, an explosive star death. This may cause a gamma ray burst. The jets are moving at nearly half the speed of light. The blue ring (centre) is the shock wave of the supernova explosion, travelling far more slowly. The jets are powered by material falling into a new black hole at the star's centre, and are perpendicular to the hole's rotation. An observer in line with the jets may see a gamma ray burst. Simulation done by Andrew McFadyen using supercomputers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. See images R730/054-056 for the jets' progress.
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