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Birth of a Supernova: Type Ia

  • By Rick Groleau
  • Posted 11.11.00
  • NOVA

When a white dwarf star steals matter from an orbiting red giant, it can set off a special type of stellar explosion called a Type Ia supernova. In this interactive, learn how a Type Ia supernova happens and why astronomers use these blasts as “standard candles” to track the accelerating expansion of our universe.

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What happens when a star goes supernova? Travel step-by-step through the stages of a Type Ia supernova explosion.

This feature originally appeared on the site for the NOVA program Runaway Universe.

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