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Exploding white dwarf, 3D simulation

Exploding white dwarf, 3D simulation

C007/5324

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Credit

THE FLASH CENTER / UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THE FLASH CENTER / UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Exploding white dwarf, 3D simulation. Supercomputer model of a white dwarf star exploding 0.04 seconds after ignition. The star surface, coloured green, measures 3,800 kilometres in diameter. Other colours represent temperature (blue and red are cooler, orange and yellow are hotter). Ignition produces a burning bubble of hot ash measuring 16 kilometres (centre). In later sequences, the bubble rises rapidly and breaks through the surface of the star. It then expands as it emerges, cools and then collides at a point opposite to where the bubble first emerged. A white dwarf is a very dense star, roughly the size of the Earth, but with a mass comparable to the Sun. When the white dwarf runs out of fuel it can explode as a Type Ia supernova.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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