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Student Events
In & Out Burger Cookout
Makayla MylesApril 3, 2024

In-N-Out is coming to our school for Eligible 6th & 7th Graders. From 1:19-3:15 pm  on the Honor Court Lawn & Covered Eating Area.

A Rare Supernova Sighting Gives Us Clues to How Stars Could Die

In May of this year, a star in the Pinwheel galaxy went supernova, giving astronomers much data and details about its death. This supernova is the closest to us in the last 5 years. 

It usually takes about a year of research to get a clear picture of a supernova, but thanks to this one happening in a place where astronomers could get an exceptional view of it, we can see this one in under 5 months. 

Stars fuse hydrogens together to make helium, creating heat. However, stars only have a limited supply of hydrogen. When they run out, they begin to fuse helium together to make lithium. This process continues until they reach iron. Mass flows into the core by the nuclear fusion of iron. Once the core cannot support the mass above it, it implodes, causing a supernova. Supernovae are relatively rare and happen once every century in our galaxy. When supernovas happen, they send gold, silver, zinc, and many other elements created in the dying stars’ last moments. When a supernova occurs, it shines 5 million times as bright as our sun. 

What makes this supernova different from other supernovae is that astronomers saw the process of this supernova happening early, meaning that they saw the process of this star dying and eventually exploding. The star’s name before it died was SN 2023ixf and researchers found images of it in another galaxy before it exploded. They saw the long process of this star dying and one thing they noticed was extreme weight loss in the star. This is what they believe caused the supernova to occur. Now that researchers have seen the whole process of the star going supernova, we may now know how stars could die.

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    AlexNov 9, 2023 at 8:21 am