DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cataclysmic variable star systems. Computer artwork showing atmospheric matter being drawn from larger stars by the powerful magnetic field of smaller white dwarf stars. Systems such as these produce novae, sudden and massive increases in the brightness of the system. This occurs as gas in the matter pulled from the donor star builds up and ignites on the surface of the white dwarf star. These novae events can recur regularly.
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