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About Cosmic Explosions

  1. Nov 12, 2015 #1
    I have a question about cosmic explosions. Now, I know at least two kinds of explosions that can happen in space; supernovae and gamma ray bursts. I was wondering, what are the names of other types of cosmic explosions other than those two? I'd like to know.
     
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  3. Nov 12, 2015 #2

    DaveC426913

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    'Exposions' is a pretty broad term. There is virtually no limit on the kinds of things that can 'splode in space.

    Novae (everyone forgets the supernova's more mild-mannered little brother), coronal mass ejections, solar flares, planetary collisions, pulsars, etc.
     
  4. Nov 12, 2015 #3
    I see. How powerful are they?
     
  5. Nov 12, 2015 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Why don't you do some Googling around, maybe check out Wiki, and if you have specific questions, ask them here.
     
  6. Nov 12, 2015 #5
    Okay, will do.
     
  7. Nov 12, 2015 #6
    Some stars at the end their lives undergo a kind of slow gentle explosion, but it is still nevertheless a process which involves the star 'blowing up' and ejecting a considerable part of it's mass. Sometimes they can do this repeatedly.
    These are red giant stars and they are the final act of stars which are similar in mass to our Sun, (it's in the medium to small size range for most of it's life and yellowish).
    Eventually only a small very dense hot core remains as a white dwarf star, and the outermost layers are lost.
    The white dwarf remnant is 'dead', no longer generating any new energy, it's just retaining (most of) what it already has and very slowly cools.
    When our Sun enters the red giant phase (in about 5bn years) it will certainly consume Mercury and very likely Venus too, the Earth may escape from being engulfed then it might not, but if it does escape being actually destroyed it will certainly be no longer habitable having lost all of it's oceans and most of it's atmosphere.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  8. Nov 13, 2015 #7
    I would wonder if you could even consider a gamma ray burst to be an explosion in the same sense as a supernova. It's just heavily focused energy created by a black hole, and there are multiple types of gamma ray bursts, some don't really even accompany any sort of explosion, some help catalyst a hypernova.

    Would a quasar be considered an explosion? They pump out far more energy than a supernova.
     
  9. Nov 13, 2015 #8
    Funny you should say that. Gamma ray bursts do have the word "burst" in them, but I have wondered myself if they were an actual explosion, despite what I may have said in the initial post. I looked it up on Google and some sites did say it was an explosion. I still don't know what to think.

    I also read something about X-Ray flashes being an explosion as well, but I have my very strong doubts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  10. Nov 13, 2015 #9
    It remains uncertain what is the cause of gamma ray bursts, but the term 'burst' here is referring to a sudden dramatic but short spike of EM radiation, not necessarly implying that something has disintegrated explosively.
    In fact one of the primary suspects for their origin is that of very massive objects such as neutron stars or black holes merging.
     
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