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  • Dead Stars
    597 words
    Critical Review In November of 1999 an article about cosmic cataclysms appeared in Time magazine. A cosmic cataclysm is also known as a gamma-ray burst. These gamma bursts cant be seen with the naked eye and they release more energy than our sun releases in its whole lifetime. As of now, no one is really sure whats causing these large blasts. Hopefully this will change as astrophysicists meet to discuss the blasts and as satellites are launched into space to capture the phenomenon. Even though n...
  • S Process Since A Star's H
    2,723 words
    The "big bang" which created the universe, only created the elements Hydrogen (H) and Helium (He) and possibly a very small amount of Lithium (Li). However, a glance at the periodic table of the elements shows that today (some 15 billion years after the big bang) there are at least 108 known elements. Every atom of every element heavier than Li has been produced since the big bang! The "factories" which make these elements are stars. "Nucleosynthesis" or the synthesis of nuclei, is the process b...
  • Neutron Stars Emit Radio Waves
    1,242 words
    Crab Nebula Looking up at the night sky you see stars lying on a never-ending dark blanket. It is within this "blanket", called the interstellar medium, that new stars are formed. The interstellar medium consists of 99% gas and about 1% dust particles. Hydrogen is the predominant gas in both atomic and molecular forms. While being the place where stars are born, the interstellar medium also creates beautiful nebulae. A reflection nebula is created when light from a nearby star reflects from the ...
  • Helium Core Fuses Into Carbon
    1,937 words
    Fusion For centuries, humankind has looked at the stars, and for just as many years humankind has tried to explain the existence of those very same stars. Were they holes in an enormous canvas that covered the earth? Were they fire-flies that could only be seen when the Apollo had parked his chariot for the night? There seemed to be as many explanations for the stars as there were stars themselves. Then one day an individual named Galileo Galilei made an astounding discovery: the stars were repl...
  • Collapse Of The Neutrons Star
    584 words
    Black holes by supernova Firstly, a black hole isn't really a hole at all, but that's the easiest way to think of its effects on the rest of the universe. Take a star that's at least thirty times larger than our sun and make it explode (called a supernova). Stars do that at the end of their lifetime, sometimes leaving a remnant of the violent explosion. The nature of the remnant depends on its mass. If the remnant is less than 1.4 solar masses, it will become a white dwarf, a kind of hot dead st...
  • Type II Supernova Explosion
    746 words
    A supernova is a STAR that explodes. It suddenly increases in brightness by a factor of many billions, and within a few weeks it slowly fades. In terms of the human lifespan, such explosions are rare occurrences. In our Milky Way galaxy, for example, a supernova may be observed every few hundred years. Three such explosions are recorded in history: in 1054, in 1572, and in 1604. The CRAB NEBULA consists of material ejected by the supernova of 1054. Such materials, known as supernova remnants, ar...

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