VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova. Computer artwork of an exploding star, or supernova. Supernovae occur when a massive star exhausts its nuclear fuel. In the absence of energy generation its core collapses and the star implodes until it has reached the density of nuclear matter. At this stage outward material which is still imploding bounces back in a massive shockwave and is ejected, leaving the core exposed as a neutron star. Only 5 supernovae have been visually observed in the last 1000 years, but many have been detected from their radio emissions.
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