Nova the Science, Nova the Puppy
We used cotton candy to demonstrate the life-cycle of a star.
Think of the sugar in the cotton candy as Hydrogen, Helium, and Dust
As those things swirl together, things happen like gravity.
The gravity will pull everything together into either an average star or a massive star depending on the size of the nebula.
The Hydrogen in the star begins to burn which causes the glow.
Eventually the Hydrogen runs out, like a candle that runs out of wick and the star can’t burn.
The core of the star tightens, and the shell expands into either a Red Giant or a Red Supergiant.
Next the star explodes. If it is a Red giant it explodes into a planetary Nebula, eventually becoming a white dwarf, if it’s a Red Supergiant it explodes into a supernova which will become either a black hole or a neutron star.
So what is a regular Nova?
A puppy! (My sister's puppy is named Nova)
But also, it’s when a white dwarf is in orbit with another star that becomes a red giant. The white dwarf’s gravity will pull some of the Red Giant to it’s surface where explosions take place. This is called a Nova.
Oh, and here's a picture of our own little "Super Nova!"