The Evolution of Stars

I found an interesting article entitled Palomar Observatory spots a gravitationally lensed supernova. This article talks about how gravitational lensing works exactly. Scientists and researchers are able to use this technique and see behind objects in space that could not be seen before. Using this method, researchers in Sweden where able to spot and magnify a supernova that was occurring. This discovery is very rare because unlike most supernovas, this particular one was much brighter than expected. Because of the strange brightness, scientists are trying to understand more of what is happening around the supernova and seeing the effects. This method of gravitational lensing has become very helpful and has helped discover many new things in the universe around us.

This relates to what we talked about in class. We had talked about the formation of stars and we then talked about its life span and how they die. Depending on the size and type of star that will determine how it may die. A star will die when the core can no longer support nuclear fusion. Stars on the main sequence will become Red Giants. In class we worked on a few pages in our lecture tutorial books. On page 134 in particular, we filled out a diagram that showed a possible death for a red giant. In the mass of the star is on the small end it will then create a planetary nebula which will eventually leave behind white dwarf stars. If the mass of the star is large it will create a Type II Supernova and then either leave behind a black hole, or a Neutron Star. In addition we looked at a power point and other pictures and diagrams to help learn this objective.

What I found interesting in this article, is the fact that people who were working on this project actually got to see something and how many of them were shocked and surprised because normally things like this are not seen in everyday life, so I found that to be pretty cool.


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