In the night sky: Orion
In the night sky: Orion

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In the night sky: Orion

2.3.3 Beautiful supernovae

What do the stars look like as they go through all these nuclear reactions?

Supernovae are so bright that they can outshine a galaxy! However they only shine this brightly for a few days or weeks, before fading away, leaving beautiful remants.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_orion_vid_1057.mp4
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This video features GRB 111209A, a red supergiant that exploded on 9 December 2011, producing high-energy gamma ray emissions; V838 Monocerotis, which unlike a normal nova grew enormously in size instead of expelling its outer layers; N 63A, whose shockwaves are destroying the surrounding gas clouds; and SN 1006, possibly the brightest supernova in recorded human history.


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