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Cosmic Fireworks

03.07.2009
In a matter of seconds, a supernova releases more energy than the Sun radiates in its 10 billion-year life span, and the explosive event can briefly outshine its host galaxy. Neutron stars, the remnants of such "cosmic fireworks," exhibit the strongest magnetic fields observed in the universe.

Even the most spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display pales in comparison to what takes place in nature.

In a matter of seconds, a supernova releases more energy than the Sun radiates in its 10 billion-year life span, and the explosive event can briefly outshine its host galaxy. Neutron stars, the remnants of such "cosmic fireworks," exhibit the strongest magnetic fields observed in the universe.

Calculations performed to create this visualization were made on Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar XT5, the world's fastest computer for unclassified research. This image sequence is taken from a magneto-hydrodynamic simulation performed with ORNL's astrophysical simulation code GenASiS. The visualization illustrates the growth of the stellar core magnetic field under conditions similar to those encountered moments before the star is disrupted in a supernova explosion.

... more about:
»Cosmic »Fireworks »Neutron »Sun »magnetic field

Click this link below for a high resolution video: http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/video/media_advisories/supernova_v1.mov

Click this link for high resolution still images: http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/images/media_advisories/magfield_composite.png

Credits: ORNL’s Eirik Endeve, Christian Cardall, Reuben Budiardja and Anthony Mezzacappa.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

Ron Walli | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ornl.gov

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