Is a kilonova bigger than a supernova?
My question is straight forward. Is a kilonova bigger than a supernova?
How does a kilonova differ from a nova in terms of...
- volume of space occupied by the ejecta
- speed of the ejecta
- other metrics?
Thanks, HDE226868! I think I get it. Your comment, the answer PeterErwin provided, and the link uhoh provided have given me a picture of what kilonovas are like. I refined the question for the sake of the site... I left out supernovas and "hypernovas" (just learned about the latter today) though maybe that info could go here, too. Or maybe this question is answered well enough already.
Kilonova sounds a lot like supermoon; mostly journalistic in nature. If you take it literally, it means a thousand times as much of *something*, in this case "nova".
Although it's a little tricky to say what "bigger" means in this context, the answer is, in most senses, no.
A supernova puts out about ten to a hundred times as much energy in the form of light, and hundred or more times as much matter is ejected. (A core-collapse supernova undoubtedly puts out much more energy in the form of neutrinos as well.) What matter is ejected by a kilonova does go out faster (30-60,000 km/s, versus about 10,000 km/s for supernova ejecta).
On the other hand, a kilonova puts out much more energy in the form of gravitational waves, so they're bigger in that sense.