When   massive   stars   die,   they   do   so   in   a   spectacular   fashion.      Supernovæ   come   in   two   different   varieties    called,   quite   logically,   type   I   and type   II. Type   I   supernovæ    are   thought   to   be   white   dwarfs   which   are   pushed   over   the   edge   of   the   Chandrasekhar   limit ,   which   is   named   in   honor   of Subrahyanman   Chandrasekhar,   who   first   used   physics   to   calculate   the   value.   The   enlarged   white   dwarf   would   then   become   unstable   and detonate .   These   are   known   as   carbon   detonation   supernovæ.   Type   II   supernovæ    are   massive   red   supergiant   stars   which   have   quickly   evolved to   the   stage   where   many   layers   of   nuclear   fusion   are   found   in   the   interior   of   the   star.   When   the   evolved   star   reaches   iron   fusion,   the   core collapses. On the rebound, we have a huge release of neutrinos and quite a bit of visible light as well. Most   recently,   astronomers   were   treated   to   a   relatively   nearby   supernova   in   the   Large   Magellanic   Cloud .   Here’s   a   NOVA   documentary    that was   made   soon   after   the   discovery   with   all   of   the   details   of   that   discovery.      Supernova   1987a    has   been   fading   since,   and   has   left   behind   some interesting   features,   such   as   light   rings .   Other   supernova   remnants   may   be   found   throughout   the   sky.      The   last   nearby   supernova   was   over   four hundred years ago . Any star’s life ultimately ends as one of three possible outcomes:  white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole.
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Supernovæ
Carpe Caelum
Carpe Caelum Stellar Astronomy
Carpe Caelum Stellar Astronomy