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Unformatted text preview: SN 1987- The first detailed images of a supernova remnant http://msnbcmedia2.msn.com/j/msnbc/Photos/050606/supernova.jpg A Near-Earth Supernova: Tremendous Potential Supernovae were absolutely critical to the development of life on Earth. All of the carbon, oxygen and iron currently on this planet are the result of a past supernova explosion. It is only plausible that such a tremendous phenomenon has the ability to extinguish all that it has created. These explosions are one of the most wonderful and spectacular astrophysical events. But while they are considered beautiful from afar, a near-Earth supernova has the potential to be downright dangerous and a threat to human life. A supernova is, simply put, the explosive death of a star. This stellar phenomenon can be produced in two different ways. First, a massive star can run out of fresh nuclear fuel so there is no more pressure to sustain it against its own weight. The central part of such a star then collapses and the outer layers of the star fall in on the core...
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This essay was uploaded on 04/01/2008 for the course FYS 101 taught by Professor Depree during the Fall '08 term at Agnes Scott College.
- Fall '08