Micro Life Zone
Asked by maretha97 to DJ, Kyler, Mia, Mick, Peter on 29 Aug 2013. This question was also asked by lolz, carissa12.
I’ll leave that to Kyler. I’ll take the wine chem questions though, okay Kyler?
It started to happen after the big bang. There was only gas in the universe, but it was not quite evenly spread out. Where ther was a denser patch, it had more gravity than the surroundings, pulling more gas into it (making it even heavier). When the mass of gas gets big enough, the gravity squeezes it until it becomes very hot and the atoms are pressed together so tightly that atomic fusion starts, and you have a star.
At this stage, it is just hydrogen turning into helium, but eventually it runs out of fuel and explodes. The force of the explosion makes even denser atoms. Our solar system is made up from the left-overs when a star exploded billions of years ago.
@maretha97: I’m with DJ on this one!
DJ: I have some very nice bottles of red (Yarra Valley Cab Sauv’s) that have been kicking about for 15+ years. Should I drink them now or let them age more? 😉
Actually Peter had a pretty good answer to this one. Just a few additional details: exactly how the hydrogen cools down so it can condense into stars is a tricky question, and one that scientists are still working on. And there are a couple different ways for stars to die — the explosions are one of the most interesting ways, but some stars just run out of their fuel and they just keep getting colder, like the embers of a fire that is going out. Only these embers take tens of billions of years to cool off.
In addition to @Peter and @Kyler, I remember that when a really super massive star dies, it can turn into a supernova. They don’t happen very often, at least enough for us to see. And they dont last very long.
Many people have been asking me about explosions recently. The most impressive fact about a supernova explosion (if you ask me), is that if we used all the explosives ever made by humans including nuclear weapons, we could never a bomb nearly as big as the supernova explosion! It can be so strong and powerful that it can make a black hole!
I’m a chemistry scientist so I’m really interested in supernova explosions because that is a common way the universe makes heavy elements like the metals which stars like our sun cannot. If you can use Youtube at school, have a look at this vid which tries to show an example of what might happen, complete with animations and special effects 🙂
@Mia there’s no time like the present I say.
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