Supernova Essay, Research Paper

The titanic explosion of a star is commonly known as a supernova. Supernova’s outbursts of energy are the largest explosions and events that occur in the universe. Essentially, they create the basic elements of life. Shock waves from the exploding star trigger the births of new stars and the formation of solar systems like our own. Stars live 10 million years burning hydrogen into helium and helium into oxygen. When the life of a star comes to an end, the core collapses, shock waves are expelled along with the burst of neutrinos. Energy of the explosion is equivalent to all the energy the Sun gives out in a 10 billion year lifetime time’s 100 and put out in 1 second. Ideally, only super red giant stars can become supernovas. They are 10-100 thousand times brighter than the Sun. On the contrary, blue compact stars are younger and fainter by 2 magnitudes.

It is evident that without the death of stars occurring in the universe, planets and essentially Earth would not have come to exist. These events are rare and create long term consequences for the universe. From lectures provided in class, I realized that life shares a common chemistry. A chemistry made up of dna, amino acids, and proteins. These elements were dispersed during the explosion and retained during the formation. Supernovas are responsible for the production of neutron stars and perhaps even black holes but more importantly they recycle rare and heavy elements into the universe. The extremely sporadic elements consist of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen—all on which life depends.

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