A Spectacular Stellar Finale main content.

A Spectacular Stellar Finale

Part of Hall of the Universe.

A spectacular stellar finale_HERO AMNH/D. Finnin

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A supernova is the explosion of an entire star. Runaway nuclear reactions cause the star to blow itself apart as the core becomes a superdense neutron star or black hole. In an outburst as bright as a billion suns, the star’s material blasts across interstellar space and cools, forming intricate shells and wisps of glowing gas. Enriched by t