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 2.1 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 has produced a burning bubble of hot ash that has risen rapidly towards the surface and expanded around the perimeter of the star as it cools. The ash has collided at a point opposite to where it first emerged and created a jet of hot matter (lower left). Later in the sequence, jets of hot material also travel inwardly, leading to the detonation of the star into a supernova. 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.