Starry Starry Night With Supernovae

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We attempt to count the many stars which dot the night skies and make wishes on the brightest ones or shooting stars.  Lesser known to the novice star gazer, many die out and new ones are born on a continual basis.  Due to a phenomenon known as supernovae, exploding stars are as natural as man drawing his next breath.


Any word worthy of its weight normally draws its meaning from other root words.  In this case, nova means new in Latin.  By adding the prefix of super, it implies that something new is born out of an activity of extremely large dimensions.  Since novae imply the plural form, the contrived term in the field of astronomy is therefore used to impart the meaning that new stars are born out of extreme measures.


More often than not, the explosion of old stars is the catalyst for these occurrences.  Depending on type, supernovae are triggered by either sudden losses or surges in the production of the stars' energy.  When aging stars stops producing energy, they undergo changes which can cause sudden collapses in their structures and enormous release of energy.  On the other side of the coin, some stars may accrue unexpected power from other sources to raise their core temperatures to extreme levels.  Whichever the case may be, these abrupt changes cause the stars to become unstable and explode, releasing copious amounts of heat resembling nuclear explosions.


Many a time, these can be visually sighted via telescopic equipment managed by observatories.  As some celestial explosions produce energy in similar quantities to the sun, they bear some semblance to their solar counterpart for a short period of time.  Although it may raise some worry on exploding stars showering the galaxy with additional energy and dust particles, there is no need for further concern as supernovae are relatively rare.  The chances of one being hit by a piece of trash thrown out of a passing vehicle are probably higher than being crushed by a chunk of broken star.

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Starry Starry Night With Supernovae

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This article was published on 2010/10/21