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    TheWhiteDwarf's Avatar
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    Default what causes some stars to explode in a supernova?

    the title is my question.

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    Default Re: what causes some stars to explode in a supernova?

    stars live with the constant battle between inwards gravitational pressure and outwards radiation pressure, when a high mass star (8 solar mass or greater) reaches the end of its life, that is when iron starts to form in its core, gravitational pressure is just not strong enough to continue fusion, at this time gravity takes over and even overcomes electron degeneracy pressure (repulsion between electrons), and slowly shrinks the star so much that electrons in the the atoms of the star starts to combine with protons, so the whole star becomes a giant neutron ball (neutron star), and thats where the shrinking stops(because theres literally no space left, even at the subatomic level!).
    This entire collapsing process releases enormous amount of energy, more than 100 times what the sun will radiate in its whole 10 billion years, when this energy is released, it blows the outer shell away from the star, remember inner shell goes from iron ball to neutron ball, outer shell is still gases and trace elements, so these gases get pushed out in the explosion, and THAT explosion is called supernova, and it leaves a neutron star behind, and if the neutron is massive enough, it can overcome neutron degeneracy pressure, thats when it collapses into a black hole.

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