ADAM BURROWS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM BURROWS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova explosion. Supercomputer simulation of a star, 25 times more massive than the sun, exploding into a supernova. Colours represent temperature of stellar matter, green is high and brown is low. The inner core is represented by a purple spot. The simulation shows that rising hot matter and falling cold matter causes the star's core to oscillate and generate sound waves. The sound waves resonate at an audible frequency near middle 'C' and are powerful enough to trigger the supernova explosion. A supernova is a massive star that has exhausted its fuel causing its core to collapse. Imploding material from the outer shell creates a shock wave that bounces back and ejects the material. It is thought that the shock wave alone is not enough to cause the supernova and another mechanism, such as sound waves, might also be involved. Simulation created in 2006 by Adam Burrows using the Berkeley supercomputer center, USA.
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