Woosley, Stan E. Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, California.
Last reviewed:February 2019
Show previous versions
- Observational characteristics
- Type II
- Type I
- Theory of Type Ia supernovae
- Theory of Type II supernovae
- Type Ia cosmological applications
- Exotic supernovae
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The catastrophic, explosive death of a star, accompanied by the sudden, transient brightening of the star to an optical luminosity comparable to that of an entire galaxy. A supernova shines typically for several weeks to several months with a luminosity between 200 million and 5 billion times that of the Sun, then gradually fades away. Each explosion ejects from one to several tens of solar masses, or equivalent Sun masses, at speeds ranging from thousands to tens of thousands of kilometers per second. The total kinetic energy, 1044 joules (2.5 × 1028 megatons of high explosive), is about 100 times the total light output, making supernovae some of the highest-energy explosions in the universe (Fig. 1). Unlike its fainter relative, the nova, a supernova does not recur for the same object. See also: Galaxy; Nova; Star; Universe
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information