HAMMER, JANKA, MULLER & RAMPP / MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR ASTROPHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HAMMER, JANKA, MULLER & RAMPP / MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR ASTROPHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova explosion. The model represents a supernova measuring around 3.3 million kilometres in diameter. Colours represent chemical composition: blue for nickel, red for oxygen, green for carbon and pink for a mixture of nickel and oxygen. Supernovae occur when a massive star has run out of nuclear fuel and its core collapses to form a neutron star. The collapsed core triggers a shock wave that powers the supernova explosion.
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