Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy; created by J.A. Harris
When a neutron star forms, compression creates heat that generates neutrinos. When the star’s core collapses, a shock wave propagates around the star but stalls. The neutrinos reenergize a stalled shock wave, and the convection created leads to an asymmetric explosion that shoots elements into the cosmos. The heat content, or entropy, is shown, with greater entropy represented by “warmer” hues. At center is a volume rendering of the developing explosion above the newly formed neutron star (based on a simulation with the CHIMERA code); side images of orthogonal slices through the star reveal additional detail.