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Erik Driscoll

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Supernovas

Basics of supernovae
A supernova is the implosion occurrence of a supermassive star
Supernovae are extremely bright, some shine with brightness of 10 billion suns
Supernovae, in their main sequence, can output 10 to the 44th power joules of energy
How supernovae occur
There are two ways in which a supernova can come about, through type 1a and type 2 supernovae
A type 1a supernova occurs by a white dwarf in a binary system where the dwarf accretes matter from it's companion in the system, pulling enough mass off so it reaches a critical density and explodes in a fusion of carbon and oxygen
In a type 2 supernova, a star greater than 8 solar masses expands to a red giant and gains so much mass in it's core through nuclear fusion, it cannot withstand it's own weight and implodes upon itself
When supernovae happen
In our galaxy, supernovas generally occur every century on average
For a type 1a supernova, it takes on average 10 billion years to complete it's life cycle and supernova
For a type 2 supernova, it takes on average 10 million years for it to complete it's life cycle and supernova
Types of supernovas: Type 1a
This type of supernova is caused by a white dwarf accreting mass from another star in a binary star system
Supernovae are defined as a Type I if their light curves exhibit sharp maxima and then die away smoothly and gradually.
Types of supernovas: Type 2
This type of supernova is caused by a red giant reaching the end of it's life
This chart shows the light curves of both type 1 and 2 super novas
Note how type 1 has a sharp curve, but then decreases gradually, where as type 2 has a general steepness then decreases
Type II supernovae are modeled as implosion or explosion events of a massive star, they show a general steadiness in their light curves a few months after initiation, then slowly decrease
The aftermaths of supernovae
After a supernova occurs, it leaves behind energy and material in the form of a supernova remnant (SNR)

Shell like supernova remnant Cassiopeia A
Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech
G292.0+1.8, a composite supernova remnant in Centaurus
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State
The remnant is bound by an expanding shockwave, consisting of ejected material leftover from the explosion
There are three types of supernova remnants, shell like (see left picture), composite (see right picture), and Mixed-morphology remnants (also called "thermal composite", see below) remnants, in which central thermal X-ray emission can be seen, enclosed by a radio shell
Multiwavelength composite image of the thermal composite supernova remnant N49 in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Stages of supernova remants
Stage 1: The remnant has free expansion of the ejecta, until it sweeps up it's own weight in circumstellar or interstellar medium, this stage can last tens to hundreds of years
2: The remnant of shocked circumstellar and interstellar gas is sweeped up, and this begins the Sedov-Taylor phase, which can be well modeled by a self-similar analytic solution
5: The remnant begins merging with the surrounding interstellar medium, and when the supernova remnant slows to the speed of the random velocities in the surrounding medium, then after roughly 30,000 years, it will merge into the general turbulent flow, contributing its remaining kinetic energy to the turbulence
4: The interior of the remnant begins to cool, and the dense shell continues to expand from its own momentum.
3: The shell of the remnant begins to cool, to form a thin (< 1 pc), dense (1-100 million atoms per cubic metre) shell surrounding the hot (around a few million kelvin) interior, and this begins the pressure-driven snowplow phase.
Benefits and resources gained from supernovas
The core of a star is only a small fraction of an extremely large star, yet that for many millions of years had been making many of the elements that we find here on Earth
These elements reach us when the star supernovas with force of 1028, blasting the stars atmosphere into interstellar space, bringing the elements with it in the blast.
Although many of the elements we see on earth are created by supernovas, such as the more common elements, all of these elements are lighter than Iron, and are not very rare
The only way to create some of these rarer elements is by using more energy than a star can produce, so when a star supernovas, it produces these elements because the supernova has much more energy than that of the star itself
This video is an artists rendition of a supernova imploding and leaving a remnant
Works cited

"7) September 2012." Annes Astronomy News. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2014. http://annesastronomynews.com/pod-archive/7-september/
Dunbar, Brian. "Suzaku Finds "Fossil" Fireballs from Supernovae." NASA. NASA, 12 Jan. 2010. Web. 19 May 2014. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/astro-e2/news/fossil-fireballs.html
"Supernova Remnants at High Energy." - Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 46(1):89. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2014. http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.astro.46.060407.145237
"Supernovae." Supernovae. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l2/supernovae.html
"Supernovae." Supernovae. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2014. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/snovcn.html
Supernovas remnants consist of five stages, which they undergo until they are no more
Stages one and two
Stages three and four
Stage five
Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech
Credit: Nasa/JPL Caltech
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