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Surface Helium Detonation Spells End for White Dwarf

| Science

Artist’s impression of the supernova explosion. The nuclear detonation of the surface helium layer triggered an inward shock wave, and now carbon nuclear fusion has begun at the center. Original size (2.9MB)

An international team of researchers has found evidence that the brightest stellar explosions in our Universe could be triggered by helium nuclear detonation near the surface of a white dwarf star. Using Hyper Suprime-Cam mounted on the Subaru Telescope, the team detected a type Ia supernova within a day after the explosion, and explained its behavior through a model calculated using the supercomputer ATERUI. This result was reported in Nature published on Oct. 5.

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