What creates energy in a nova, supernova?

In summary, the conversation discusses the process of nuclear fusion in stars and how it can lead to different outcomes such as novas, type Ia and core-collapse supernovas. The energy source for these events is either hydrogen, carbon or gravity. The collapse of a star can result in either a dwarf or a supernova, releasing potential energy stored during the burning process. Depending on the size of the star, a supernova can create nebulae and a black hole. Nebulae can eventually form new stars or planets.
  • #1
Is it just nuclear fusion?
 
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  • #2
It's a little more complicated than that.

Have you done any research on these topics? Read any articles?
 
  • #3
In a nova, it's fusion of hydrogen. In a type Ia supernova, it's also fusion, but of carbon. But in a core-collapse supernova, the kind massive stars do, the energy source is gravity, as the core collapses. As a minor nitpick, we normally would say energy is conserved, so is not "created" in these events-- it is taken out of the mass of the object.
 
  • #4
Pretty much what Ken G said. After a long productive life, the star begins to run out of fuel. As hydrogen runs out, the star must use helium and other gases to quench its thirst. Basically, this doesn't really work out for the star, and collapses under its own gravity because It can't keep burning properly. This collapse can either cause two things, one is a dwarf and the other a supernova. The explosion of a supernova is a build up of all the potential energy stored up as the star burned, which is released as kinetic energy when the fuel runs out. Depending on a number of things, mainly the size of the star, one or the other will happen. If a supernova explodes it can create either both or one of the following: Nebulae and a Black Hole. Generally the burned out core collapses into a black hole, and the surrounding gas turns into nebulae. Nebulae itself in time can form new stars or even planets. Hope this gives you all you need to know.
 
  • #5


Yes, nuclear fusion is the main process that creates energy in both a nova and supernova. In a nova, the energy is produced by the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium, while in a supernova, the fusion of heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen, and silicon also contributes to the energy production. However, the energy released in a supernova is much greater than in a nova due to the much larger amount of material involved and the more complex fusion reactions taking place. Other factors, such as gravity and the collapse of the star's core, also play a role in the energy production of a supernova. Overall, nuclear fusion is the primary source of energy in both nova and supernova events.
 

1. What is a nova and supernova?

A nova is a sudden increase in the brightness of a star, caused by a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star. A supernova is a much larger explosion that occurs at the end of a massive star's life cycle, resulting in the release of massive amounts of energy.

2. What creates the energy in a nova and supernova?

The energy in a nova and supernova is created through nuclear fusion. In a nova, hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium, releasing a large amount of energy. In a supernova, heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen, and iron fuse together, creating even more energy.

3. How does the energy in a nova and supernova compare?

The energy released in a supernova is much greater than that of a nova. A supernova can release up to 100 billion times the energy of a nova.

4. What triggers a nova and supernova?

In a nova, the trigger is the buildup of hydrogen on the surface of a white dwarf star. When the hydrogen reaches a critical mass, it ignites and causes a thermonuclear explosion. In a supernova, the trigger is the collapse of a massive star's core, leading to the fusion of heavier elements and the subsequent explosion.

5. Can a nova or supernova occur in our galaxy?

Yes, both novae and supernovae can occur in our galaxy. In fact, supernovae occur about once every 50 years in the Milky Way, while novae occur more frequently.

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