Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A supernova (plural supernovae) is a stellar explosion which produces an extremely bright object made of plasma that declines to invisibility over weeks or months.

A supernova briefly outshines its entire host galaxy.

It would take 10 billion years for the Sun to produce the energy output of an ordinary Type II supernova.

Stars beneath the Chandrasekhar limit, such as the Sun, are too light to ever become supernovae and will evolve into white dwarfs.

There are several different types of supernovae and two possible routes to their formation.

A massive star may cease to generate fusion energy from fusing the nuclei of atoms in its core, and collapse under the force of its own gravity to form a neutron star or black hole.

Alternatively, a white dwarf star may accumulate material from a companion star until it nears its Chandrasekhar limit and undergoes runaway nuclear fusion in its interior, completely disrupting it.

This second type of supernova is distinct from a surface thermonuclear explosion on a white dwarf, which is called a nova.

In either type of supernova, the resulting explosion expels much or all of the stellar material with great force.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Supernova", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:

Related Stories

Share This

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins