The Power of Supernova, Explosion of Stars in Space

The universe consists of various objects, one of which is bintang. A star is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium. Stars produce light and heat from nuclear energy from within their cores.

Launch BBC Sciencestars are formed from very large clouds of dust and gas in outer space. Gravity pulling dust and gas together to form protostars. As the gas gathers, the protostar gets hot. When the heat is enough to start the reaction nucleara star is formed.

Like life, a star can also die. Once there is no fuel left, the star collapses and the outer layer explodes. This is what is called supernova.

Definition and Process of Supernovae

A supernova is the explosion of a star in outer space. According to NASAA supernova is the largest explosion that occurs in outer space. Each supernova explosion emits a very bright and powerful light. This spectacular event is so bright that it eclipses the entire galaxy for days or even months.

The light emitted from a supernova explosion is equivalent to 10 billion sun. The total energy emitted by one supernova can reach 1044 joules or the total energy equivalent of the sun during its 10 billion year lifetime.

The process of a supernova begins when a change occurs in the core, or center, of a star. There are two types of supernova based on the process of occurrence, namely:

1. Supernova Type I

Type I supernovae occur in binary star systems. A binary star is two stars orbiting at the same point. One type of star called white dwarf (white dwarf), steals matter from its companion star. Eventually, the white dwarf accumulates too much matter, causing the star to explode, resulting in a supernova.

2. Supernova Type II

Type II supernova or also known as core-collapse (collapsed core) occurs at the end of the lifetime of a star that is at least eight times larger than the sun. Stars burn fuel in their cores to produce heat.

That heat creates pressure that pushes it outward against the star’s gravitational force. When a star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows toward its core. Eventually, the nucleus becomes so heavy that it cannot withstand its own gravitational force.

The core of the star collapses, resulting in a supernova explosion. After a supernova, the star’s core becomes denser and hot gas remains, called a nebula. In very large stars, their collapsing core can become a black hole. Otherwise, the stellar core becomes a dense neutron star.

Can the Sun Go Supernova?

Quoted from Space.com, the sun will not undergo a supernova. The size and mass of the sun is not large enough to produce a supernova explosion when the sun dies. It’s also not enough to produce a black hole. In order to create a supernova, the sun must have a mass 10 times greater. Meanwhile, to produce a black hole, the sun must have a mass 20 times larger.

The sun is mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. At the Sun’s core, hydrogen is converted to helium in a process called nuclear fusion. It takes four hydrogen atoms to fuse into each helium atom. During the process some of the mass is converted into energy.

When there is no more hydrogen for nuclear fusion in the sun’s core, a shell forms around the helium-filled core. Gravity will take over, so the core is compressed and the sun expands.

The sun will continue to expand until it engulfs the surrounding planets, including Earth. In this phase, the sun becomes a large red star (red giant). Then, the hydrogen in the outer core will be exhausted and only helium will remain.

Once all the hydrogen is burned out and all the helium is gone, the force of gravity will take over. Eventually, the sun will shrink to white dwarf (white dwarf). All outer matter will disappear, leaving behind a gas called a nebula.

Astronomers estimate that the sun has about seven to 8 billion years left before it runs out of fuel, shrinks, and dies.

SN2016aps, The Most Powerful Supernova Explosion in History

The Center for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian reported on April 13, 2020 that a group of scientists had detected the most powerful supernova explosion in history, named SN2016aps. It is the brightest, most energetic and massive supernova ever identified.

SN2016aps is believed to have formed from the merger of two massive stars before the explosion. The energy of the SN2016aps explosion is 10 times more powerful than a normal supernova. SN2016aps is 4.5 billion light-years away and produces 10 times more energy than the sun emits in its lifetime.

The first SN2016aps were identified in 2016 using data from the Panoramic Survey Telescopes and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). This supernova was further studied over the next four years to track its evolution and significant energy release.

Archival images taken during the study reveal an increasing light curve since December 2015, allowing the research team to better understand the nature and explosion of supernovae.

Researchers concluded from the explosive power of SN2016aps that this star is at least 100 times more massive than the sun. The explosion is formed when a star sheds a shell of material that made up about half of its mass before exploding.

When the explosion penetrates the shell at a speed of about 4,600 kilometers per second, an extreme burst of radiation is created. Researchers determined that in the final years before exploding, the star released an enormous shell of gas. The collision of the explosive debris with this massive shell causes a tremendous supernova explosion.

In addition, the researchers found hydrogen content, so they theorized that two less massive stars had joined together. New stars born from mergers have a high enough hydrogen weight and mass to trigger instability. As a result, a supernova occurs.

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