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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. In this stage, the collapse has started and the compressed core has reached extremely high temperatures, initiating a runaway thermonuclear reaction, producing heavy metals like nickel and iron. The runaway reaction blasts the entire star (arrows) into the 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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