Segments in this Video

Supernovas; Lethal and Life-Giving (04:01)


Supernovas blast lethal amounts of deadly radiation into the universe. The elements produced in these enormous stellar explosions actually make planets, plants, and people.

Stellar Threats to Earth (02:38)

Two stars in the Milky Way have the potential to catastrophically explode close to Earth. The explosions trigger cosmic rays, which can disrupt DNA and cause mutations.

Classification of Supernovas (05:26)

A stellar detonation shoots vast amounts of supernova evidence, cosmic debris called remnants, into the universe. When scientists measure the light and spectra of supernovas, they can classify them into two main types.

Type 1a Supernovas (09:00)

Today's astronomers scour the universe for deadly supernovas. Historically, supernovas have been recorded as early as 125 A.D. A Type 1a supernova occurs when binary stars explode together. A computer simulation illustrates how a Type 1a explosion occurs.

Brightest of Exploding Stars (04:08)

In the 1930s, Fritz Zwicky first used the term supernova to describe the brightest of exploding stars. The final stage of a dying star is a neutron star, so dense that it collapses in on itself and then explodes in a massive supernova blast.

Supernova 1987a (05:46)

When a massive star at the end of its life collapses to a neutron star, it radiates almost all of its binding energy as neutrinos. In 1987, a spectacular stellar event occurred: a supernova explosion. Evidence of neutrinos would confirm a core collapse supernova.

In Search of Neutrinos (01:59)

In 1987, scientists "capture" the first neutrinos from a supernova blast. These particles are from the core of an exploding star.

Stellar Explosion (04:01)

On September 18, 2006, Robert Quimby discovers supernova 2006gy, the brightest stellar explosion ever recorded. After completing his analysis of a 2005 supernova he also discovered, Quimby determines that 2005ap was much brighter than 2006gy.

Gamma Ray Bursts (05:41)

In 2006, NASA's Swift satellite caught the afterglow and gamma ray ejection of a supernova. From supernova observations scientists can determine many features and facts about the universe itself.

Credits: Supernovas (00:26)

Credits: Supernovas

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Part of the Series : The Universe
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



This program analyzes the sensational deaths of stars, a process that astronomers believe creates the very building blocks of planets—and life itself. Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series The Universe. (45 minutes)

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL43169

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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