Supernovae: the spectacular death of stars

Strictly speaking, a supernova is an event: a huge explosion that in a matter of seconds puts an end to a star that shone brightly in the sky for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. For astronomers, this event becomes an object of study from the moment of the explosion and during the weeks or months that the light from the outburst remains visible to a telescope. But the action of this huge event (disproportionate and gigantic even by astronomical measurements), on the surrounding space, persists in time and transforms this event into a celestial object of long duration. Beautiful nebulae are created, some of the most beautiful objects in the sky, which shine for thousands of years in all the lights of the electromagnetic spectrum (from radio waves to powerful gamma rays), with extraordinary consequences on all the material around them. These objects that survive the explosion of a star are the supernova remnants, and their study is linked to topics as broad and different as nucleosynthesis, neutron stars, black holes, the dynamics of galaxies, the birth of new stars and even archaeoastronomy. Supernovae are also events that are inseparable from the presence of life on Earth.
We will briefly review the different types of supernovae, commenting on the most currently accepted theories to explain the different explosions, as well as their impact on the surrounding interstellar medium.
28/01/2021 - 19:00
Gloria Dubner
Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio (Buenos Aires, Argentina) y Academia Nacional de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales