Interactive Lab. The overall reactions that occur for carbon burning occur so rapidly and with so much energy that the star blows apart in an explosion called a supernova.
The outer layers of the star blast into space, and the core is crushed to immense densities. Carbon burning occurs when the helium in the core is gone. The core needs to maintain temperature to keep the gas pressure up; otherwise the star cannot resist gravity. When carbon burning does occur, iron is formed. Iron is the most stable of all nuclei, and ends the nuclear fusion process within a star. When these heavier elements form in the core, they take away energy rather than release it.
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With the decrease in fuel for fusion, the temperature decreases and the rate of collapse increases. Just before the star totally collapses, there is a sudden increase in temperature, density, and pressure. The pressure and energy compact the core further, squeezing it like “Charmin. ” The compact core becomes a rapidly whirling ball of neutrons, and that’s why now this star is termed a neutron star.
The largest mass stars may become black holes. The highest mass star has a core that shrinks to a point. On the way to total collapse it may momentarily create a neutron star and the resulting supernova rebound explosion. Gravity finally wins. Nothing holds it up.
Space so warped around the object that it effectively leaves our space – black hole.