Photo: New Type of Supernova Discovered



Gravity from a white dwarf star slowly pulls helium from a companion star in an artist's illustration. According to theory, when the shell of helium builds up to a critical mass threshold, it will explode as a "Type .Ia" supernova.

This predicted class of supernova, which is fainter and fades faster than other star explosions, has now been witnessed for the first time, astronomers said in November 2009.

Picture copyright Tony Piro


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