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A Type Ia supernova

NSA800023F | Credit: NASA/Stocktrek Images

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A binary star system in which a white dwarf accretes matter from a normal companion star, known as a Type Ia supernova. Matter streaming from the red star accumulates on the white dwarf until the dwarf explodes. With its partner destroyed, the normal star careens into space. This scenario results in what astronomers refer to as a Type Ia supernova.