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I Supernova - What would you see if watching one from close by?

  1. Jun 17, 2017 #1
    I know supernovae can create some very heavy elements (such as Uranium, Plutonium, Gold and so on...)
    Supposing you could watch such a colossal explosion from closeby without getting vaporized, would you see lumps of molten heavy metals (and other elements) flying everywhere in outer space and then coalescing into bigger and bigger blobs (to form asteroids and such)?
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  3. Jun 17, 2017 #2
    It would be hot and beautiful
  4. Jun 17, 2017 #3
    I hope I'm still alive when Betelgeuse goes off. It would be awesome to see it.
  5. Jun 17, 2017 #4
  6. Jun 17, 2017 #5


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    No, it should be all in the form of quickly dispersing plasma. The stellar interior is held together by extreme pressures from top layers - once it's unbound, everything flies apart.
    There's no clumping until much later, long after the debris will have cooled and been assimilated by interstellar clouds. Only when these clouds collapse to form new stars, the density increases again, allowing clumping.
  7. Jun 17, 2017 #6


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    The energies involved are way too large to allow for there to be anything like lumps of metal. It will eventually cool enough to form an expanding cloud of dust and gas called a nebula.
  8. Jun 17, 2017 #7
    And that nebula will eventually give rise to new stars and even planets. Pretty cool.
  9. Jun 17, 2017 #8


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    Well, not directly. This material will spread out and mix with the interstellar medium. After some time, this new mix will form its own concentration of dust and gasses that can collapse to form new stars and planetary systems. It is possible for that collapsing cloud to contain elements from more than one supernova.
  10. Jun 17, 2017 #9


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    A typical stellar precursor cloud is a eclectic collage of primordial elements, stellar detritus, comet and planetary shards, even garbage jettisoned from alien cruise ships. In other words almost anything imaginable. The dominant component is virgin hydrogen and helium from the BB [~75% - 25%]. This is because the universe is only old enough to have used up a fraction of the raw materials created during the BB. Only a handful of generations of stars have since contributed to the mix, which continues to evolve, albeit slowly, under the influence of energetic events like GRB's and supernovae.
  11. Jun 17, 2017 #10
    The super novas can create shock waves. The wave can force clouds into a denser state then they would otherwise be. That will be many lightyears away.

    Standing close by you might see your eyes melt and turn to vapor. I do not know if brain tissue or eye tissue is more rapidly destroyed by high energy radiation.
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