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Collapse of a Wolf-Rayet star

Collapse of a Wolf-Rayet star

C042/6272

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25.0 MB (1.4 MB compressed)

3595 x 2426 pixels

30.5 x 20.6 cm ⏐ 12.0 x 8.1 in (300dpi)

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Credit

NASA / SKYWORKS DIGITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SKYWORKS DIGITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Collapse of a massive star. Artwork (image 3 of 7) showing a the collapse of a Wolf-Rayet star (a stage in the evolution of a very massive star). The core of the Wolf-Rayet star has collapsed, forming a black hole surrounded by a disk of accreting matter (blue). Within a few seconds, jets of matter (white) are ejected at near the speed of light. The jets, in conjunction with vigorous winds of radioactive nickel-56 blowing off the disk inside, shatter the star within seconds, creating a supernova event and generating a gamma-ray burst. Observations of a very energetic supernova, associated with a long gamma-ray burst (GRB 030329) in the constellation Leo on 29 March 2003, provide evidence for this collapsar model of the origin of some gamma-ray bursts.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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