When a massive star exhausts its nuclear fuel it rapidly collapses and then explodes as a supernova, reaching a peak luminosity of over 1036 W, roughly 1010 times that of the Sun (Figure 1). Its outer layers form an expanding cloud of hot plasma, while the central core collapses to form a neutron star or a back hole.
Theoretical models show how rapid motion of charged particles might generate strong magnetic fields, deflecting particles and driving shock waves that accelerate electrons and further heat the expanding remnant. But the situation is complex and direct measurements on supernovas are impossible.
Your organisation does not have access to this article.
Sign up today to give your students the edge they need to achieve their best grades with subject expertiseSubscribe