Type I
Supernovae

(Section Not Complete)

Mechanism for Type 1A Supernova Explosions

In a Type IA Supernova, accretion is thought to be onto a white dwarf, but at a rate different from that for a nova. Instead of igniting a thin surface layer, as in the white dwarf, in this case the star becomes unstable and essentially the entire star is consumed in a gigantic thermonuclear explosion.

This may be likened to the explosion of a hydrogen bomb approximately the size of the Earth but containing the mass of the Sun.


The adjacent image shows a type 1A supernova, Supernova 1994D, which exploded on the outskirts of the galaxy NGC 4526 (an S0 galaxy in the Virgo cluster). The supernova is the bright star at the lower left (Ref).


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