Source:NASA Science News
A supercomputer model of a rapidly-spinning, core-collapse supernova.
Credit: Fiona Harrison/Caltech.
A massive old star is about to die a spectacular death. As its nuclear fuel runs out, it begins to collapse under its own tremendous weight. The crushing pressure inside the star skyrockets, triggering new nuclear reactions, setting the stage for a terrifying blast. And then... nothing happens.
At least that's what supercomputers have been telling astrophysicists for decades. Many of the best computer models of supernova explosions fail to produce an explosion. Instead, according to the simulations, gravity wins the day and the star simply collapses. (read more)