Supernova animation

This video animation shows the remnant of the explosion of a supermassive star. Stars greater that eight times the mass of our Sun will self-detonate as supernovae. Supernovae can briefly outshine an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months. During this short interval, a supernova radiates as much energy as the Sun could emit over its entire lifespan. The star is shredded and blown into the surrounding interstellar medium. This shock wave sweeps up an expanding shell of gas and dust called a supernova remnant. Hubble Space Telescope spectroscopic observations have yielded the chemistry cooked up by the supernova, including oxygen, nitrogen and carbon – the basis of life as we know it.


Credit: NASA, ESA and the SM4 ERO Team

About the Video

Release date:9 September 2009, 17:00
Related releases:heic0910
Duration:30 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object



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7.6 MB


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1.9 MB

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