Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Star go ka-BOOM!

Playing catch-up after a long hiatus again. I haven't done that much computer art. But here's diagrams of the stages of a supernova, used for a political/scientific story posted on Daily Kos by Darkside on Feb. 17, 2008. Quoting from the story:

The three schematics below courtesy of graphic artist Karen Wehrstein illustrate the basics of what is thought to happen deep inside a massive, aging star near the end of its life, during a classic kind of Supernova called a Type ll. After burning successively heavier elements, the star eventually begins producing iron at its center. It's a stellar dead end. The iron core grows, robbing the star of energy due to the idiosyncrasies (See comment) of atomic physics, and soon reaches a critical threshold; a massive ball of iron thousands of kilometers in diameter suddenly collapses dramatically, like a soap bubble, into an unimaginably dense remnant a few kilometers wide. Overlying superheated plasma, compressed so much it weighs way more than lead -- quickly falls in to fill the gaping void. When it slams in to the surface of the degenerate core it begans fusing furiously. Short version: Star Go Ka-BOOM!

These illos, incidentally, are totally original, done from scratch.