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Quasars vs Supernovas – Layman Conclusion

24 January 2013, 14:30

Quasars vs Supernovas – Layman Conclusion

Wikipedia is the main source used to gather the facts of Quasars and Supernovas.

This conclusion will cover the comparison and the significance of these two events.

Firstly, let’s see what we know about these events, how they occur and why.

We know that when a Star goes Supernova it is a stellar explosion that expels most of the star’s material at high velocities.  For a star to go Supernova it has to raise its core temperature enough to ignite carbon fusion, at which point it undergoes nuclear fusion.

Stars spend about 90% of their lifetime fusing hydrogen to produce helium in high-temperature and high-pressure reactions near the core.  Our star is only 0.4 solar masses

Solar Masses (M? = 1.9891 × 1030 kg)

During their helium-burning phase, very high mass stars with more than nine solar masses expand to form red super giants. Once this fuel is exhausted at the core, they can continue to fuse elements heavier than helium.

Massive stars have a minimum mass of 7–10 solar masses, but this may be as low as 5–6 solar masses. These stars undergo carbon fusion, with their lives ending in a core-collapse supernova explosion.

Gravitational collapse occurs when an object's internal pressure is insufficient to resist the object's own gravity. For stars this usually occurs either because a star has too little "fuel" left to maintain its temperature through stellar nucleosynthesis, or because a star that would have been stable receives extra matter in a way that does not raise its core temperature. The star's temperature is no longer high enough to prevent it from collapsing under its own weight. The result is one of the various types of compact stars. The type of compact star formed depends on the mass of the remnant - the matter left over after the outer layers have been blown away, such from a supernova explosion or by pulsations leading to a planetary nebula. This mass can be less than the original star - remnants exceeding 5 solar masses are produced by stars that were over 20 solar masses before the collapse.

The gravitational collapse of heavy stars is assumed to be responsible for the formation of stellar mass black holes. Star formation in the early universe may have resulted in very massive stars, which upon their collapse would have produced black holes of up to 10 solar masses. These black holes could be the seeds of the super massive black holes found in the centers of most galaxies.

The core of our Milky Way galaxy contains a super massive black hole of about 4.3 million times the mass of our Sun.

Quasars which we learnt from the first article are very energetic and distant active galactic nucleus, a compact region at the centre of a galaxy, powered by accretion of material into a supper massive black hole.

With a decent understanding of star formation, the significance between stars that go supernova and massive stars that collapse forming black holes compared to super massive black holes that forms Quasars at their galactic nucleus is truly amazing.

Although thought that quasars form at the centre of young galaxies is an indication to me that massive galaxies merge creating a powerful galactic nucleus at their centre resulting in the formation of a quasar.

Would it then be safe to assume that with time, quasars consume each other till there is a Big Bang.

I hope you have found the articles interesting and can add some valuable inputs.

I would once again like to point out that most the information was sourced from Wikipedia, the first two articles are facts of quasars and supernovas taken from Wikipedia, the conclusion is that of a mind wondering if these stellar explosion once was the cause of the Big Bang, and Big Bangs to follow!!!

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