THE FLASH CENTER / UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THE FLASH CENTER / UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Exploding white dwarf, 3D simulation. Supercomputer model of a white dwarf star exploding 1.2 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 that rises rapidly towards the surface, forming a huge mushroom shape (upper right). In later sequences, the bubble expands as it emerges from the star, quickly cools and 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.
Model release not required. Property release not required.