In the vastness of the universe, several magnificent cosmic events have captured our imaginations and dazzled us for centuries. Since that time In the transition from comets to solar eclipses, humanity glimpsed the astrophysical processes that have shaped the Universe. We are all armed with the same innate curiosity: What is this thing I see?

Among the extraordinary celestial events observed in history are supernovas, the first observations of which date back thousands of years. In these distant times, the sudden appearance of a strange bright light in the sky was often interpreted as a divine sign or omen of great calamities such as epidemics, diseases, or the fall of kings.

One of the first records of a supernova observation occurred in 1054. It occurred in the constellation Taurus. This supernova was recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers on the night of July 4, 1054., indicating the presence of a new bright object in the sky, visible even in daylight for several weeks in a row. The remnant of this stellar explosion is known today as the Crab Nebula and remains the object of intense study by astronomers to this day.

However, it was only with the advent of telescopes at the beginning of the 17th century that humanity began to see the supernova phenomenon more clearly. One of the first notable records occurred in 1604, when German astronomer Johannes Kepler observed a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus, which allowed it to refute. Aristotle’s idea that the starry sky does not change provides one of the first foundations for the study of stellar evolution.

The remnant of the 1604 supernova known as Kepler's Supernova.

Today we know that supernovas are devastating explosions that mark the end of a massive star’s life. Generally speaking, when a star runs out of nuclear fuel, the balance between internal pressure and gravitational force collapses, triggering a series of events that will depend on the mass of the star. For stars with masses greater than eight times the mass of our sunThe dying star resulting from a supernova can turn into a small, dense neutron star or a black hole.

During a supernova, a violent explosion occurs that releases an enormous amount of radiated energy in the form of light that can shine brighter than the entire galaxy in which it is housed for several days. By its violent nature, these explosions provide a cosmic laboratory for the study of nuclear physicsbecause they produce heavy chemical elements dispersed in space, enriching the next generation of stars and planetary systems.

Schematic representation of the life cycle of stars.

However, some supernovae, called hypernovas, exceed conventional explosions in size. A hypernova is an even more energetic event characterized by an enormous release of energy, up to 100 times greater than that of a supernova. Hypernovas are extremely rare in the Universe: they are estimated to occur only when extremely massive stars more than 30 times the mass of the Sun come to the end of their lives.

The processes that can trigger a hypernova are complex and not yet fully understood, but one of the main theoretical models suggests that the death of supermassive stars involves the formation of a central black hole surrounded by a material accretion disk that emits powerful jets. particles in opposite directions. These jets collide with matter ejected during the star’s explosion, Creating an event even brighter and more energetic than a conventional supernova is probably the most energetic class of events after the Big Bang..

Eta Carinae, one of the leading hypernova candidates.

As instruments and observing techniques improve, astronomers hope to observe these events in the Universe more briefly and frequently, to study their extreme nature in detail, and to further deepen our knowledge of events related to the life cycle of stars.

Stay up to date with astronomy news on TecMundo. Take this opportunity if you wish: Gravitational waves can answer the mysteries of dark matter.

Source: Tec Mundo

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I'm Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I've written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.


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