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Hot spot geologists have developed a virtual simulation of a supernova explosion that might have taken place a few hundred years ago, and the results have been published in the journal Geology.
The simulation is based on a 3D model of a binary star cluster, which is the remnant of a massive star cluster that was ripped apart by a supernovae in the early Universe.
A supernova is the explosion of a star that has lost most of its mass and energy to its own explosion, while its companion is left to live out its life on the other side of the galaxy.
“The star cluster was destroyed by a massive supernova, but it’s not known exactly what happened,” said lead author and postdoctoral researcher, Mark Schreiber of Arizona State University.
“If we were to imagine a similar event today, it’s highly likely that it would be a collision of two binary stars, which would produce a massive explosion.
We would be looking at the impact of a collision between two massive stars.”
The simulation uses data from the Hubble Space Telescope to simulate the events of a giant supernova.
The simulation allows researchers to simulate different scenarios where an explosion of this type could occur.
“We are trying to figure out how to simulate a supermassive star cluster with a large number of binaries,” said co-author and physics professor of the UA, Dr. Eric Sturgess.
“What we have done is use Hubble’s images to simulate an exploding star cluster.”
The simulated explosion would be extremely hot and intense.
It would take a massive amount of time for the explosion to be detected, as the star cluster would be at a distance of billions of light-years.
“This is one of the few models that gives us a glimpse of how the explosion might occur in the future,” said senior author, Dr Michael Lappin of the University of Arizona.
“It’s a very detailed model, but the physics of the explosion are quite different to what you see when you observe a super-massive star in the Milky Way,” said Dr Sturgis.
“In the simulations, the hot and energetic matter in the supernova core interacts with the surrounding matter and produces a lot of matter.
It looks like a giant spinning top, but in reality it’s just a ball of gas.”
The simulations can be used to model how a superstar might have grown into a large, white, white dwarf star.
“These simulations can help us to better understand the dynamics of these giant supernovas, as well as their mass, and how they could explode at high energy,” said Sturgiss.
“What we’re looking for is not a single supernova but a giant explosion of these binaries.”
The research was funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
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