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Hubble watched a failed supernova turn into a black hole before its very eyes. These so-called "massive fails" (seriously) are thought to occur when the core of a star is so massive the exploding shell of gas cannot escape, and instead collapses back in on itself.

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level 1

Bonus points to the author for the url, "black-hole-sun".

level 2

In my eyes! Indisposed! In disguises no one knows..

level 3

Hides the face, lies the snake, and the sun in my disgrace.

level 4

Boiling heat, Summer stench ‘Neath the black the sky looks dead

level 5

Call my name through the cream And I'll hear you scream again

level 6
36 points · 3 months ago

Black hole sun, won't you come

And wash away the rain

level 7

Black hole sun.

Won't you come.

Won't you come.

won't you come...

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level 2
140 points · 3 months ago

Incidentally it's the one year anniversary of Chris Cornell's suicide. RIP. Still saddens me to the core.

level 3

It saddens me to the core so much, it escapes me.

level 4

Black Hole Pun, won't you come?

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level 2

Won’t you come? And wash away the rain

level 2
16 points · 3 months ago

That music video absolutely terrified me when it came out. I had nightmares about it, and still can’t watch it without feeling uncomfortable.

level 3

That music video is not something I would recommend watching while on drugs...

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level 1

Am I right in saying this actually occured 20 million years ago?

level 2
1.1k points · 3 months ago

Yes, it is 22 million light years away, so the light from this event took 22 million years to reach Earth.

level 3

that is insane.

we could get a telescope powerful enough to see a sentient race, then years (many years) later travel there and they could all be evolved/extinct/replaced.

level 4
252 points · 3 months ago

Yep just like if anything is looking in at us right now it's probably seeing dinosaurs

level 5

Most probably "Nothing there, next planet."

That's why life is so hard to detect out there. It's not just a question of where, but when, too.

level 6

I literally never thought about it this way. There could - at this moment - be intelligent life somewhere light-years away and we wouldn’t know it because we can’t see it...yet. Right?

level 7

Indeed, watching the stars is like reading a book long ago concluded.

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level 7

What does "at this moment" even mean when dealing with such large gaps in spacetime?

If information and causality flow at the speed of light, is it even sensible to talk about simultaneity?

level 8

Think about radio signals. We have radio telescopes that may be able to detect radio or TV signals from other words. But that world would have to develop similar technology at some point in their history. And we would have to point our telescope in that direction at the right time as the signals are passing earth, which at light speed is also affected by distance.l. And if you think about our situation, analog radio has only been around a little over 100 years, analog TV only about 70, and analog TV is about dead. Analog is important because it’s easy to decode. If we could detect analog signals there’s a decent chance we could decode it back into audio or video, or whatever other format it is. However if it’s digital, there is probably compression applied simply because it’s more efficient use of bandwidth. That’s more challenging because you have to decode the compression algorithm too, and with no idea what the original data looks like, who knows how that would turn out. Plus our digital broadcasts may have some kind of encryption or copy protection applied to it, which means now someone has to crack that, with no knowledge of our numeric system to begin with.

So essentially earth has a 100 year window of communications traveling away from the planet that is “easily” decoded. We could assume something similar with other planets that achieve this technology. So really if a planet is 22 million light years away, we have to hope we hit that window when we point a telescope at it to look for signals.

level 9

Could you imagine aliens attempting to crack coded and encrypted human signals, thinking they were some kind of ancient test or puzzle only to find an episode of Seinfeld?

level 9
12 points · 3 months ago

So..ah..you're saything theres a chance!

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level 8

There isn’t a gap in time, there’s just a gap in observation. Stuff is happening all over he universe right now, we just won’t observe it for a while.

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level 8

That sounds like a good plot for a movie.

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19 points · 3 months ago

There could have been intelligent life orbiting a star for a million years that was wiped out right before the photons reached our sights.

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level 6
61 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

This fact is enough to explain Fermi's paradox for me.

Modern humans have existed for, what, 100,000 years? Society has existed for like 8,000. We've been "spacefaring" (if you could even call it that yet) for like 60 years. The universe has existed for 13 trillion billion years.

It is very, very likely that alien races existed in the past and went extinct, or will exist in the future but don't yet. The odds of an alien race existing concurrently in time with humanity and close enough to be detected are very slim.

Edit: I need to proofread my comments.

level 7
26 points · 3 months ago

Slight correction, the universe has existed for 13-14 billion not trillion years

level 8

Not slight. Thanks for the correction. Fixed.

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level 5

they wouldnt be able to...unless some physics breaking detection method is invented on their part, the lens required to view earth in detail would be light years in diameter and would basically have enough gravity on its own to crush itself into a black hole. maybe an array of lens would work, but the array would be in the 10s of light years across and would basically be limited by the speed of light to begin with when it comes to processing an image. not to mention the gravity well created by such an object, even if its spaced out fairly well

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level 3

Just a hair less, due to expansion of space.

level 4

Should just a hair more, as with space expanding, it's gonna take longer to cover more space

level 5
68 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

I always understood it as less, since as the light leaves, expansion furthers it from its source at a speed greater than c. But I may very well be completely wrong.

Edit: I see what happened. It was my poor wording. I meant the true distance would be slightly less than ly distance due to expansion. I worded it where it seemed opposite. We were both right, I guess.

level 6

Depends on the Galaxy. If it's something in the local cluster it may be gravitationally bound and not expanded away from us.

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level 3
55 points · 3 months ago

Holy crap we can observe stars that are that far away? What galaxy even is that?

level 4
108 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

It says it in the article, galaxy NGC 6946: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_6946

If that blows your mind, read up on the Hubble Deep Field: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Deep_Field

Hubble was able to capture light from galaxies 12 billion light years away.

See also the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Ultra-Deep_Field which captured galaxies over 13 billion light years away, which is just about as far as you can go given the size and age of the universe.

level 5

NGC 6946

NGC 6946 is a face-on intermediate spiral galaxy with a small bright nucleus, whose location in the sky straddles the boundary between the northern constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus. Its distance from Earth is about 22.5 million light-years or 6.8 megaparsecs, similar to the distance of M101 (NGC 5457) in the constellation Ursa Major. Both were once considered to be part of the Local Group. but are now known to be among the dozen bright spiral galaxies near the Milky Way but beyond the confines of the Local Group.


Hubble Deep Field

The Hubble Deep Field (HDF) is an image of a small region in the constellation Ursa Major, constructed from a series of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. It covers an area about 2.6 arcminutes on a side, about one 24-millionth of the whole sky, which is equivalent in angular size to a tennis ball at a distance of 100 metres. The image was assembled from 342 separate exposures taken with the Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 over ten consecutive days between December 18 and December 28, 1995.

The field is so small that only a few foreground stars in the Milky Way lie within it; thus, almost all of the 3,000 objects in the image are galaxies, some of which are among the youngest and most distant known.


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level 6
36 points · 3 months ago

6.8 megaparsecs

That's like 566,666 Kessel runs for the millenium falcon.

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level 5

Hubble was able to capture light from galaxies 12 billion light years away.

Only when reading about space does my jaw drop as much as it did just now!

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level 4

We can observe things billions of light-years away. It's just a matter of how long the light took to get here and if we have equipment powerful enough to detect it among all the rest of the light "noise" in the universe.

level 4

You can see the Andromeda galaxy with your naked eye, its 2 million light years away. Sure this is 10x further but we are using a pretty decent telescope. Things just get fainter the further they are (and red shifted). With sensitive enough camera technology you just have to stare at them long enough to pick up a photon eventually.

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level 3
5 points · 3 months ago

And that's only because it's close. Things father away can be further from us than the light travel time because of the expansion of spacetime

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level 2

It's crazy to think that an advanced civilization could be observing us "right now", but wouldn't receive the images for possibly millions of years. Maybe long after civilization collapses, aliens will arrive and say "shit, we're late.

level 3

Or maybe they already came, a very long time ago, and there was nothing here of interest.

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level 2

the formation of the black hole itself would be a rather rapid process, but there could be a lot of leftover hot gas in a new accretion disk thats orbiting or decay orbiting the black hole that would make it appear bright over an extended period of time. the fact that a whole star went and just disappeared like a candle snuffed out in the space of at most 8 years, on astronomical terms , that is instant anyways

level 3
244 points · 3 months ago

Fuck. Makes you really feel small. And while I'm writing this sentence I'm watching our very own space candle ... aaaand she's gone.

level 4

Especially considering IF there was life there, we watched it die too. Nothing is going to save a living thing with how cold space is about to get. Even if we could wormhole over, light takes so long to reach us, whatever possibly died there died a loooong time ago.

level 5

22,000,000 years ago to be precise.

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level 3

It’s nice to know the inevitable heat death of the universe will be instant

level 4

well, instant if you mean from the last picosecond before the heat death and then the heat death. but its gonna be a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time to actually get there, and we will be long, long gone by that point.

so i would say the heat death of the universe is actually the longest event . ever.

level 5

So does gravity not pull the universe back into another Big Bang? Once heat death happens, it’s game over?

level 6
108 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

gravity can win or the expansion can win, we think the expansion will win. what that means is that after a mind boggling long time. something like 103600 years , the last proton in the universe could decay into photons. at that point the universe will have reached maximum entropy, or heat death.

when we look up into the sky, everything is moving away from us like you would expect if you were in the middle of a freeze frame of an explosion ( in the sense we think explosions as ‘fast’ things) but not only that, but things are accelerating away from us. this rocked. astronomy when it was discovered and lead to the invention of the idea that 73% of the universe must be made up of an unknown energy, that we called dark energy, which is the ‘force’ that is driving the acceleration of the expansion of the universe .

as a side note, one hypothesis, which means its not a proven thing at all, is that in the moment the last proton in existence decays the universe no longer has any matter left with which to measure itself by. no electron orbitals defining how atoms interact, nothing but a sea of massless photons. in this instant it might be the case the the universe treats the trillions upon trillions of light years that form the now massless universe, the same as a singularity, because it cant physically tell the difference between the two, this could lead this energy mass to result in a new big bang, making the universe cyclic after all, even if gravity doesn’t win.

this has all happened before, and will all happen again

level 7
18 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

Imagine a balloon expanding, unless there's a way for the gas to escape, it's unlikely it'd contract before it pops, or just stops expanding (heat death).

If there's a holes in our universe, it's black holes, and those aren't large enough to counteract the expansion of the balloon.

If a hole were large enough to expel the air (expansion) it would most likely mean catastrophic destruction long before heat death.

In this case it's easier to imagine bubbles in a cola, all of them pop. How quickly just depends on the amount of trapped gas (bang energy).

level 8

black holes do “leak” energy back into the universe through hawking radiation, so they would remove energy only for a temporary albeit very long temporary time, until they finally evaporate.

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level 7

Woah, interesting, so in a relative sense once the universe expands a whole crap ton, it becomes a new universe’s tiniest particle? That’s mind boggling, We are even smaller than we think!

level 8

thats not an accepted theory though, just some astronomers musings. but i like to think thats the case because it makes sense and it just feels good if the universe is cyclic, rather than a one time thing that ends up existing as a sea of massless photons for ever.

its probably the closest thing to a belief that i have ;)

level 9

It feels like some sort of logical contradiction for the universe to only exist once. Maybe it’s just that it feels better, but I feel almost like it has to be cyclic.

Existence itself can’t end, right? That’d be bananas.

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level 4
26 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

No, that's actually going to be the longest time period ever.

Well, either you could say that it's instantaneous (not heat dead) to (heat dead) with no huge meaningful difference between the two, or it's as long as the age of the universe.

There's not really a "duration" to it.

Edit: It's kind of like asking "How long is the end of this song?". It begs the question of what you would consider to be "the end". Is it the first instant of no more sound? Is it the whole song because it's ending?

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level 2

It looks like in the original picture the photos were taken in 2007 and then 2015. When the supernova stage actually disappeared between the two is left unsaid unfortunately.

level 3
255 points · 3 months ago

Well, core collapse happens in fractions of a second. The whole supernova is minutes. This thing probably went down in under 30 min.

level 4

Wow... That's so fast for something that "lived" for probably hundreds of millions of years (or more...)

level 5
118 points · 3 months ago

Yeah, later stages of stellar evolution go pretty quick. They can collapse a little, start burning a new fuel, a year later it happens again, then a week later, then a day later, then an hour later, then boom

level 6
98 points · 3 months ago

This sounds like my college career.

level 5

The biggest stars only live for tens of millions of years.

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level 5

The more massive the star is, the shorter it's life. This one may have only been around for a few million.

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level 4

But.... the title says that Hubble watched "before its eyes" is that not necessarily true?

level 5
99 points · 3 months ago

Eh, you get that in astronomy. It's a big enough deal already just observing a before and after of a once in a lifetime event.

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level 5
16 points · 3 months ago

You are correct, Hubble only has one eye

level 5

On astronomical scales, the span of 10 years is an instant.

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level 2

Astronomer here! I remember hearing the second author of this paper give a talk on this some months ago. IRC, the "disappearing star" (as he called it during his talk) was picked up on observations that were a few nights apart. This Hubble confirmation though took years to get together, both because you kinda have to be lucky to see when Hubble last looked in that direction and then of course the follow up takes some time to do when applying for telescope time.

level 3

Yeah considering 8 years compared to 13.82 billion is 0.0000000006% I'd say in the eyes of the universe it's only a blink. Quite the instant blink actually.

level 4

Just because a star exploding is an astronomical event doesn't mean it should be compared to other astronomical events like galaxy formation or the age of the universe I feel. While 8 years is an 'instant' by those standards I think there would be a big difference in mechanical processes if the star disappeared in hours vs years.

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level 2

Based on the light curve included in the source paper, it looks like the supernova event happened sometime in late 2008, reached a maximum brightness in early 2009, and had completely faded by 2011. The actual explosion likely occurred over a few seconds to minutes, shedding a bunch of superheated glowing gas which was then pulled back into the collapsed core over 1.5-2 years.

Disclaimer: my background isn't in astronomy, so my interpretation may not be correct.

And a question to any astronomers: how do we know that the initial rise in brightness is a "failed supernova", rather than the light given off by an accretion disk around the newly formed black hole? Or am I getting hung up on semantics here?

level 3

Some experts have said that the supernova itself never completed. Apparently, the gravity was so intense that even a supernova failed to escape, so this is literally a failed supernova. It may have been bright, but the explosion was contained.

So, by extension, the only remaining possibility is that the lasting brightness was, in fact, an accretion disc.

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level 2
14 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

It happens nearly instantly. The star is pulled inward so forcefully that the matter accelerates enormously fast and reaches 23% of the speed of light when it's about to hit the core.

edit:

It actually takes several seconds due to the large radius of the star. But it shrinks faster and faster. Imagine millions of kilometers of space filled with plasma suddenly is gone within seconds.

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level 3

We’ll call it a space blankie uh-oh

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supermassive fail all the way

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level 1

Say you've got a star in a really big box. You've got two versions of the box. Version #1 contains the star before it collapses, and version #2 contains the collapsed version--the black hole. Both boxes contain the same amount of matter. Do both boxes have the same gravitational pull? Or does the crazy density of the black hole have some effect?

level 2

They both have the same gravitational pull. If the sun were replaced right now with a black hole of the same mass, the earth's orbit would be entirely unaffected. Look up Gauss's law if you're interested.

level 3
181 points · 3 months ago

except we wouldn't have any light and we'd all starve

level 4
254 points · 3 months ago

Not everyone would starve. Some people would freeze first!

level 5

A lot of people would die in the riots after the failed sunrise. The ones on the day side would all be dead from the x-rays and gamma rays from black hole formation, probably.

But that's OK, because the ones that lived would have new flat-screens and lots of canned food.

level 6

I mean, wouldn't it be instantaneous? Or rather 8 minutes (or whatever length of time it takes sunlight travel). The parts of the world still in daylight would go dark, and the moon would cease to shine in the rest of the world.

level 7
30 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

True, but the people on "went dark" side would mostly be dead. The moon going out would be pretty damn intense tho

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level 5

We could probably go a few decades before it becomes too cold for life and a few centuries of air before it all freezes. We could build underground colonies powered by reactors, geothermal, or even fossil fuels. We have the tech right now to survive the sun disappearing but the biosphere would be fucked. It would be like building a base on the moon except we don't have to worry about oxygen, rockets, radiation, transportation thru space, ect.

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level 4

Some deep sea lifeforms would survive near hidrothermal vents, even after thick ice sheets covered the oceans.

level 5

There's the silver lining I was looking for!

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level 4
12 points · 3 months ago

True but the Earth wouldn't care. It would keep on going around what used to be the sun for billions of years.

level 4

We could figure it out. Not all of us, but a lot of us would probably survive for at least a couple generations. Geothermal power or something.

level 5
44 points · 3 months ago

Thinking through what would happen in that situation is kinda nuts. It wouldn’t be a traditional ice age, because even that had the sun to evaporate the oceans. With the sun just extinguished, we’d have the oceans freeze before we could get enough snow inland to make new glaciers. Submarines (nuclear at least), would weather this fairly well as they have stockpiles and free energy, but would get stuck in the ice. Heat exchangers may fail by getting clogged with ice. There would be no differentiation between the poles and the tropics. Eventually, our atmosphere would chill into a liquid.

Damn, that shit’s dark.

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level 3

Gauss's law for gravity

In physics, Gauss's law for gravity, also known as Gauss's flux theorem for gravity, is a law of physics that is essentially equivalent to Newton's law of universal gravitation. It is named after Carl Friedrich Gauss. Although Gauss's law for gravity is equivalent to Newton's law, there are many situations where Gauss's law for gravity offers a more convenient and simple way to do a calculation than Newton's law.

The form of Gauss's law for gravity is mathematically similar to Gauss's law for electrostatics, one of Maxwell's equations.


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level 3

AND we wouldn't even know about it for 8 minutes.

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level 2

The supernova sheds some mass, to start. However what is left would have a similar gravitational pull, but with a significantly reduced diameter. It’s all about density.

level 2

As the other guy said, density is the only thing that changes.

To rephrase your question, you asked "if I take two objects of the same mass and position my measuring device the same distance away from each of them them (the standard sized box), do they have the same gravitational pull?"

And the answer to that is yes. The Law of Universal Gravitation doesn't care about the density of the objects. What matters is the masses involved and the distance (r) to the center of gravity (which you standardized by putting them in a box).

level 2
14 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

The equation of the gravitational pull of two objects is:

F = G(m_1 + m_2)/r^2 F = G(m_1 * m_2)/r2

Where m_1 and m_2 are the masses of the two objects, and r is the difference between the center of masses of the two objects, and G is the gravitational constant.

Because in your scenario both boxes contain the same math mass, they would both use the same equation to get the force of one object and another due to gravity.

The difference between your two objects is the density. If you were able to stand on the black hole, you would experience a greater force of gravity than if you stood on the star. This is because the distance between your center of mass and the object’s would be less on the black hole than on the star.

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level 1

These so-called "massive fails" (seriously) are thought to occur when the core of a star is so massive the exploding shell of gas cannot escape, and instead collapses back in on itself

I'm sorry, but isn't this just what a black hole is? This star was so dense it just collapsed into itself creating a black hole. Is that not how all black holes are created?

level 2
1.8k points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

In a traditional supernova, the explosion at the end of fusion sends a large shell and a huge amount of energy out in every direction and creates a beautiful nebula while a central core remains; this core, if large enough, forms a neutron star or black hole. This is what we're used to seeing, and what we believe feeds our universe with the heavier elements needed to construct rocky planets like ours.

These stars are even larger than that: the mass of the star is great enough that not even the energy of a supernova can allow a shell of matter to escape. Instead, a much larger black hole than usual immediately begins to form as the star collapses back inward.

level 3

That’s incredible. Their gravity is so strong that even the ridiculous power of a supernova can’t fling matter away from them? I can’t even wrap my mind around it.

level 4

Small distinction here-- the supernova isn't an explosion per se the way you might imagine a firecracker popping. When fusion starts to fail and the outward pressure it provides can no longer support the mass of the star, gravity takes over and the material falls inward and impacts the core, bouncing off. The bounced material is your supernova explosion and the compressive impact often results in the core becoming a neutron star or black hole. In these, there's so much material it collapses directly into a blackhole strong enough to contain the bounce as well.

level 5

I see. What makes the bouncing so forceful? I assume stars aren’t very “elastic”, so what makes incoming material bounce off instead of impact and get absorbed (mostly) like a meteor on a planet?

level 6
343 points · 3 months agoGilded1

The bouncing is so forceful because there's a solid core of Iron in the center of the star.

Here I drew a picture.

https://i.imgur.com/ZsYnxDr.png

level 7

Surprisingly good picture. Well done

level 8

It really shows the "graity" of the sitution.

level 9

I thought you misread “gravi” at first. Then realized he mispelled it the first time, and shortened it the second time.

level 10

I think the official term is Graviolis

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level 7
24 points · 3 months ago

2nd picture... Empty space? How big is that? I mean, iron core, inward pressure from gravity... Intuitively I can't think of where any empty space would come from. Or is that the state right at the moment fusion stops occurring?

level 8

Empty space? How big is that?

The size depends on how big the star was, but this is a depiction of any core collapse super nova.

Intuitively I can't think of where any empty space would come from.

The iron core that forms is much much much colder and denser than the fusing plasma that was there before. Think how colder things contract, so this iron core is much much more compact than the super hot plasma that was there before.

level 9

Now that is an interesting thought.

How quickly does it go from plasma to iron? Is it very rapid or sorta slow (not very scientific terminology but I'm sure you know what I mean).

level 10

From the time the first iron atom is created in the core to super nova is estimated to be seconds, even less, depending on the star.

level 9

What is the timescale involved in the collapse and cooling of the iron core?

level 10

Fractions of a second. The core isn't cold by our everyday standards, it's in the center of a star, so it's hot, but not hot like a fusing plasma.

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level 7

There one key ingredient missing from your picture. If it was merely an elastic bounce the energy released would be "just" the gravitational binding energy of the star's mass. While quite a freaking huge amount of energy, that would just be enough energy to lift the stars matter back to the height it originally came from (if nothing was dissipated as heat). Conservation of energy, yada yada.

However when the star's matter "bounces" this happens at tremendous pressure (after all it's pressing the core into neutron star or even black hole) and densities, i.e. temperatures. We're talking literally known-physics-borderline pressures and temperatures here, just a little further lie singularities. Practically every atom nucleus in "bounce region" will undergo fusion, at least one time. And for every element lighter than iron fusion is an exothermic process. It's this rapid fusion process which released the humungous energies of a supernova.

It's hard to wrap one's mind around supernovae. Now matter how violoent, big and extreme you think they are, you're like underestimating them by serveral orders of magnitude. Relevant What-If: https://what-if.xkcd.com/73/

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level 7

I clicked it expecting Peyton Manning lmao. Really easier to understand with the drawing, thanks.

level 7

Oxygen and Carbon are also fusion products in significant amounts?

level 8

So it depends on the size of the star, but I drew them in because a star that's capable of fusing into iron will have already gone H -> He -> Li -> C -> .... -> Fe. So those elements will be floating around in there.

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level 6
36 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

Brain Greene does a fantastic demo here.

https://youtu.be/75szwX09pg8

Edit: I'm gonna leave that typo alone.

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level 6
42 points · 3 months ago

The same way a hammer bounces back when it strikes a piece of metal. Neither are particularly "bouncy", but there's going to be a rebound from the initial strike

level 7

But they bounce far enough away that gravity doesn't pull it back in. That seems like more than just bounce energy.

level 8
12 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

In this case, "bounce energy" includes immense amounts of heat and pressure. It's a bit like overstraining a hydraulic system: compression until critical failure, usually resulting in a ton of fluid and metal flying everywhere (except instead of fluid and metal, it's superheated gas and probably other shit I don't know about)

Edit: removed mystery 'no'

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level 7
8 points · 3 months ago

If they're falling in due to gravity, how can it rebound to a further point (and then some, considering this is a supernova we're talking about) from where it was before falling in? I'm just curious where the extra energy is coming from.

level 8
12 points · 3 months ago

I wanted to find a video of a stacked ball drop to explain the effect, and ended up finding a video that directly relates the phenomenon to a supernova.

Basically, the momentum from a much larger mass is transferred to a smaller mass translating into an extremely high velocity.

level 8

Not everything that isn't the core rebounds enough to break gravity. The most outer layers are what's blowing off. The stuff that isn't pushed out of the pull gets to be part of the neutron star/black hole.

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level 6
12 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

Those would be the forces that normally keep particles from being in the same place at the same time. Pauli's Exclusion Principle and Neutron Degeneracy Pressure are two of them; there may be others I can't remember. They are obscenely powerful, much more powerful than electromagnetism, which is the thing that keeps you from falling through the floor or walking through walls. They aren't infinitely powerful though; they are the last thing to resist the pull of gravity during a star's collapse, and if they are overcome, there's no longer a limit to how compact the star can get, and a black hole forms.

In most cases, the region where gravity beats everything is tiny compared to the star's volume just before this final collapse, so anything outside a certain radius from the center will not be able to compact enough to fall into the black hole (remember, the new black hole doesn't have stronger gravity than the core matter that formed it, it just fits in a smaller(!) space). It certainly makes the effort though; it's experiencing somewhere around 7 billion km/s2 of gravitational acceleration (about 750 billion gees).

So, as the core implodes to a point, the rest tries to fall inward too, at a significant fraction of the speed of light. But since it's outside the region where gravity overcomes those forces mentioned, it reaches a limit to its compaction, like two people trying to walk through a door in the same direction at the same time, bouncing off each other and the door frame. Except this is several solar masses worth of material falling inward at relativistic speeds. When it hits that limit, it bounces hard.

This star is unusual in that it was massive enough that ALL of it could collapse into a black hole.

Can someone verify that I did the math right? I calculated gravitational acceleration with a central mass of 2 solar masses (the lower limit for a black hole) at 6 km (the Chandrasekhar Limit Schwarzchild radius). The escape velocity was just below c, so that checks out, but I'm not used to seeing or even thinking about accelerations > 24000 c/s2 . What does that even look like for a particle with non-zero mass? Or one with zero mass too, for that matter?

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level 6
[deleted]
17 points · 3 months ago

Think of shooting a metal bb gun at a brick wall. Neither the bb nor the wall are elastic, but the bb bounces off just the same. In a supernova, the atoms of the star are the bbs and the core is the brick wall.

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level 6

like a meteor on a planet?

Both the meteor and the planet are rather soft (think about throwing a basketball into sand), cause their materials are not as compacted as the atoms in a star.

Also, this:

https://youtu.be/2UHS883_P60?t=1m55s

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level 4

That's whats going on in the sun constantly. The nuclear explosions want to blast out into the solar system but the sun's core is so massive that it holds everything in a tight fireball. A constant battle of forces keeping perfect balance...for now.

level 5

perfectly balanced, as all things should be

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level 3

To put this in simple terms:

Normal black holes: huge explosion forms pretty nebula, remains of the star collapse into a black hole

This black hole: huge explosion; star is so huge that the black hole forms immediately, black hole eats the explosion, no nebula left.

level 3

Honest question here. What's the mass of the star in order for it to have a so-called "Massive fail"??? I heard that a star over 8 times the mass of the star creates a hypernova and a black hole. And could you give some examples of stars that could possibly end up as a massive fail???

level 4

So I think around 10-30% of massive stars with a mass of more than 14 solar masses experience this. Very massive stars(>30 solar mass) do indeed result in a hypernova explosion sometimes, which are usually accompanied by gamma ray bursts, which is an explosion where over a few seconds more energy is released than our sun will output in its lifetime! I think in 2009 there was a star that experienced a failed supernovae, but I forgot the details so you might want to research that yourself:)

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level 3

Is the latter what they call a supermassive black hole?

level 4

No, this black hole is much too small still. A supermassive black hole is much, much bigger, and typically only found at the center of galaxies.

level 5
9 points · 3 months ago

Do we know what causes supermassive black holes then? Is it just even larger supernovas?

level 6

Multiple generations of black holes merging.

level 6

My guess is that black holes merge until eventually one is the biggest. I'm imagining something similar to water droplets on a hydrophobic surface.

level 7

So basically agar.io but on a galactic scale..? Wild.

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level 4

The star is a normal star until it runs out of fuel for its fusion. So I assume it would generate solar wind and do everything else stars do.

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level 2

This is slightly different, but I can see where you are getting confused.

Not every supernova becomes a black hole, quite a few leave behind a neutron star.

Even a supernova that creates a black hole usually explodes with such force that the resulting black hole isn't massive enough to immediately swallow up all the remnant gasses from the explosion.

It sounds like in this instance, the core of the star was so massive that the resulting black hole was large enough to pull the rebounding gasses back in. Had this been a 2-3 stellar mass situation, the black hole wouldn't have been able to influence the gas enough to completely clear it out in just a few years.

Edit: good video on them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-P5IFTqB98

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level 2

Nope! Most black holes are created when a star at least 14 times as large as the sun (if my memory serves me correctly) goes super or hypernova and a stellar remnant (neutron star) eventually collapses under its own gravitation. In this case, the star completely skipped the supernova phase because it was so massive.

level 3
11 points · 3 months ago

and a stellar remnant (neutron star) eventually collapses under its own gravitation.

Generally they will do so immediately, without the neutron star phase, when the star is big enough.

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level 2
13 points · 3 months ago

Your typical supernova is when the star expands to the point it sheds it's outer layers and then it "explodes". The left over core some times can be so massive it implodes (technically there isn't enough energy to stop gravity but implode works for the idea) and creates a blackhole. This star's core was so dense that it went from supernova expansion directly to black hole instead of the added step.

*This is highly simplified but it gives you the basic idea.

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level 1

Well that makes my massive fails seem insignificant in comparison. Thanks supernova bro!

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level 2

NASA is gonna start making “massive fail compilations” on YouTube

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level 2

Or better yet: “Massive super-nope-a”

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level 1

I really wish I could witness something like that within a safe distance and watch it in real time

level 2

Well, 22 million light years does constitute a safe distance if you ask me!

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level 1

Are we also seeing an improvement in the imaging technology over that 8yrs?

Or am I imagining a quality difference?

level 2

You're correct.

The two images were made with different instruments. See the codes on the upper left? The one on top is the object observed. The code on bottom is the instrument used to take the observation.

The instrument for the right image is the Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed via the space shuttle in 2009.

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level 1
69 points · 3 months ago

Aw that's so sad. The little star in its dying throes tried its hardest to become something beautiful, but it didn't succeed. :(

level 2
49 points · 3 months ago

It still became a beautiful mystery that we have yet to fully learn about. So there is still that. :)

level 3

I'd rather be on the Discovery channel than on AE's unsolved mysteries. Just saying...

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level 2

It was under too much pressure.

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level 1
9 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

So how big is this star that collapsed, relative to the sun? Is this like Sirus A big, or like VY Canis Majoris level massive?

EDIT: I'm asking as, Sirus A is 109 times wider then the sun, and VY Canis Majoris is 2,600 times that of our sun. How big would that star be to collapse like it did?

level 1

How large would a star have to be to collapse into a black hole before the end of its lifecycle?

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6 points · 3 months ago

Not an astronomer, nor do I play one on TV... not even in a sitcom...

Understanding that the two picture were taken 8 years apart, because Hubble didn't spend that time focused on one event, and was in fact focusing on other goings on, the article mentions the collapse occurring within "an instant".

On a day to day human timeline, how long would it actually take for such an event to occur? How long would it take a very large and bright star in it's death throes, threatening to go supernova, to actually collapse into a singularity? Years? Days? Minutes? Milliseconds? Or is the article being arbitrary, in that 8 years is an actual instant on a galactic scale?

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level 1
4 points · 3 months ago · edited 3 months ago

How a black-hole event occurs.

You have a massive object, which is relatively dense.

Once it reaches a certain density, the atoms in the core are so compacted that some of them are forced to lose their volumetric properties and collapses to a much more compact and stable form.

Normally two atoms are held at a distance by a variety of electron shell interactions but the denser material, we'll call it Blackholeium lacks this interaction.

An atom can come a lot closer to the Blackholeium alloy than other atoms because the Blackholeium lacks the repulsion that we depend on to keep us from falling through surfaces and at that distance, the gravitational effects are enough to overcome the next atom's repulsive field so the next atom quickly alloys with the Blackholeium to make even more of the substance.

On the outside, the gravitation remains the same, meanwhile, in the core, the Blackholeium alloy is rolling around, hollowing out the mass of the star until one day, the hollowed out giant silently collapses and goes dark leaving a silent but deadly object floating through space, orbited by it's celestial objects.

It has the same gravitation as before, the same matter, but if you get to close to the point of no return, your matter may end up as Blackholeium alloy too.

Even if a small amount of blackholeium alloy fell to earth, it would punch a hole through the crust and fall to the core where it would gather material, hollowing out the Earth until the crust gives way killing all life on earth.

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