Closest milemarker supernova in generation observed

Researchers have intently studied the closest type Ia supernova discovered in a generation. The proximity to Earth could yield better understanding of this particular type of supernova that astronomers use to gauge distances in the universe and learn about its expansion history. Type Ia supernovae may begin as a carbon/oxygen white dwarf star that feeds off a neighboring normal star. Once the white dwarf star accretes enough material to reach a mass that’s 1.4 times the size of our sun compressed into a ball about the size of Earth, it becomes unstable and explodes into a supernova in a process that still isn’t fully understood.

from Space & Time News — ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/QhelrK

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