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A peculiar white dwarf could be what’s left after a failed supernova explosion.

»Posted by on 18, Aug, 2017

A recently found white dwarf — the burnt leftover of a star like our Sun — could be the remnant of a failed Type Ia supernova explosion. One of the characteristics that make Type Ia supernovae interesting for science — apart from the fact that they are exploding stars whose death flashes shine 5 billion times brighter than our Sun — is that they all have the same intrinsic brightness. That means that they act like reference points scattered around the universe for astronomers, who can use them to measure distances. Once one of them pops up in a far-away galaxy, an observer can just measure how bright the exploding star appears to be and determine how distant the supernova — and its host galaxy — must be for it to look that faint. The reason these...

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