KONSTANTINOS KIFONIDIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KONSTANTINOS KIFONIDIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova explosion. Computer simulation of a 15 solar mass star exploding as a supernova. This is 1170 seconds after the star's core collapsed to form a neutron star. At left is a density map of ejected material, increasing from black through orange to white. At right the composition of the ejecta is shown: oxygen (dark blue), silicon (pale green/blue) and nickel (red/pink). These elements were formed in well-defined layers in the star before it exploded. The model shows that the explosion is not homogeneous. The image is 4.4 million kilometres across. Work done at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany.
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