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Hypernova stage. Cutaway artwork showing one of the stages in the explosion of a massive star, known as a hypernova. A hypernova is a long-lived supernova, also known as a pair-instability supernova. This stage shows a close-up of the star's super-heated core at the critical point when electron-positron matter-antimatter pairs form, as opposed to the gamma rays formed in cooler, less massive stars. The outwards radiation pressure is now less than the gravitational force inwards (arrows) and the star collapses. The resulting supernova blasts the entire star into surrounding space, unlike ordinary supernovas that leave a neutron star or black hole. This artwork and sequence (C002/3781 to C002/3785) are based on supernova SN2006GY.
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