On Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 12:33 AM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I like the analogy that stars are essentially just giant compost heaps.
>  The levels of energy production in the core of the sun is quite low on a
> per-volume basis: a few hundred watts per cubic meter.  On the same order
> as your own biological metabolism (and not much greater than that of a
> compost heap).  It is only by virtue of the huge volume of a star that it
> produces large quantities of energy, but all the energy of a cubic meter of
> stellar core would be just enough to run a TV or a computer.

That's true of normal stars but not of supernovas. In a supernova in less
than a second a mass of carbon and oxygen 1.44 times the mass of our sun is
transmutated, primarily into iron, but with traces of heavier elements too
. In that one second a supernova releases more energy than our sun will in
its entire 10 billion year lifetime.  And per pound the accretion disk
around a black hole gives off even more energy than a supernova does.

  John K Clark

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