Wonders Of Space
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Imagine a star five times the mass of our sun reaching the end of its life. This could be mainly because it ran out of nuclear fuel. When this happens, the temperature of the star drops, the pressure decreases and gravity starts to squeeze inward. And then, the star collapses upon itself. This happens so fast that an enormous shock wave causes the outer part of the star to blow up. This produces a blinding burst of light. This blast is called a supernova.
What is left behind after a supernova is an incredibly dense core with a huge cloud of hot gas. This is called a nebula.
When a star the size of our sun collapses, it makes a White Dwarf. A White Dwarf is basically the hot core of a star that remains after the explosion. Such a core usually gets heated up to about 100,000 degrees Celcius. A White Dwarf is just a little bigger than our planet. These stars are one of the densest stars in the whole Universe. It usually takes a White Dwarf about a billion years to cool down.
Sometimes, under certain conditions, White Dwarfs can explode. This explosion is called a Nova. A Nova is less bright than a Supernova.
If a star is huge, but not big enough to produce a Black Hole, it will produce a Neutron Star at its death. A Neutron Star is a giant Nucleus; a centre of an Atom. These stars are made of Neutrons. A Neutron Star is relatively tiny, but is at least 1.5 times heavier than the sun. If you scooped up just a teaspoon from the star's insides, it would weigh more than a billion tons. Neutron stars are pretty scary. Their interior is a never-ending maze of particles. This results in an unexpected structure. Near the surface, hundreds of Neutrons produce weird blobs. Deeper down, they stretch into thin chains. Deeper, they are thick sheets. At the core, the extreme pressures turn the sheets into a shapeless blob. But even in this mass, there are some tube-shaped gaps. These stars spin none-stop. They can spin several hundred times per second. The fastest Neutron star spins more than 700 turns per second! And they have an immensely strong magnetic field. Which is why, if there was life on a Neutron Star, it would be two-dimensional. The star's gravity is so intense, it literally flattens everything on its surface. And if such a star had an atmosphere, it won't spread out more than a foot or so above the surface.
If two Neutron Stars merge with each other, it creates a new, more powerful star. Within a millisecond, maybe even less, it collapses within itself. This creates a Black Hole. They are known to be the most terrifying things in space. Black Holes suck in everything that comes near it, from planets to other Black Holes. Even light itself cannot escape a Black Hole. There's even a theory that Earth and the whole Solar System is inside a Black Hole. But this hasn't been confirmed yet. Spooky!
In some cases, a White Hole is placed right behind a Black Hole. It literally does the opposite of what a Black Hole does. It spews out everything that a Black Hole consumes. However, a White Hole is a rare occurrence. There is no theory as to how it appears.
Until recently, two Neutrons merging only produced a Black Hole. But now, scientists are sure they saw another outcome. They're almost sure they saw something never seen before: the birth of a Magnetar. A Magnetar is about one thousand trillion times powerful than our planets. The star's magnetic field is so intense that it heats the star's surface up to 10 million degrees Celcius. Magnetars are the most powerful stars in the Universe. Magnetars don't last for long, though. After 10,000 years, they will return to the Neutron state again. If you found yourself a several hundred miles away from a Magnetar, it's going to end horribly. The magnetic force from the Magnetar would disrupt your biological electricity. In other words, your nervous system stops working. Even your molecules will change under the star's magnetic field. In the end, you would just... disappear.
A Kilonova is caused when a Magnetar is born. It is over 1000 times brighter than a typical Nova. A Kilonova is different from all Nova and Supernova. Kilonova is part of space diversity that we had never explored before. Perhaps it would help us reach further into the mysterious world out there.