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Extinction of dinos

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Extinction of dinos

Could an exploding star have been responsible for the death of the dinosaurs? This

idea has become popular again as an explanation for the disappearance of the

dinosaurs. An exploding star can blast material enormous distances into space. If

this material reached Earth's atmosphere, changes may have occurred that were

harmful to life.

We call an exploding star a supernova. Nova is the Latin word for new, and in

ancient times, when an exploding star was observed, people often thought a new

star was being born. The plural form of nova is novae. So when we talk of more than

one supernova, we say supernovae.

When a star has used all it's nuclear fuel, the gravitational force that pulls

the star's material towards it's center no longer has an opposing force to act

against it. As a result the star collapses. A star that once had eight times as much

matter as our sun and was 1,000,000 miles across, becomes a sphere only ten to

fifteen miles across. As the ...

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