White dwarf seen to survive its own supernova explosion

White dwarf seen to survive its own supernova explosion

Astronomers have spotted a white dwarf that miraculously survived its own thermonuclear detonation, raising questions over how and why these stars create supernovas.

A white dwarf is the evolutionary endpoint of a sun-like star. After such a star swells to become a red giant, then runs out of the fuel required for nuclear fusion reactions, the star ejects its outer layers to form a planetary nebula, or a shell of diffuse gas. As the nebula expands and dissipates, it leaves behind the star’s inert core, which is what we call a white dwarf. 


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