What Supernovae Hide in Their Event Horizons

Supernovae, cosmic explosions of massive stars, birth neutron stars or black holes, while forging essential heavy elements like iron. A celestial spectacle that shapes the universe's very fabric.

What Supernovae Hide in Their Event Horizons
A stunning supernova remnant, a testament to the explosive forces that shape the cosmos.

In the vast cosmos, a remarkable celestial phenomenon takes center stage – the Type II supernova. These cosmic explosions, characterized by their cataclysmic brilliance, play a pivotal role in shaping the universe, from birthing new stars to forging the densest objects known to science. In this article, we embark on an exhilarating journey to unravel the enigma of supernovae, exploring the intricate processes that transpire within these stellar crucibles.

Imagine a star, eight times more massive than our Sun, nearing the end of its stellar voyage. Deep within its core, temperatures soar to a staggering five billion degrees Kelvin, causing a dramatic transformation. Here, iron-56, the cosmic alchemist's final creation, takes center stage. Under such extreme conditions, iron-56 undergoes a process called photodisintegration, breaking apart and yielding 13 helium particles and four neutrons. Unlike the nuclear reactions seen in lighter elements, these interactions are endoenergetic, siphoning energy away from the star's core.