White Dwarf Supernova

Part of Hall of the Universe.

White dwarf supernove_HERO AMNH/D. Finnin

In this type of supernova, a white dwarf in a binary star system gains mass from its companion. As its mass increases, the temperature and pressure within the white dwarf also increase, until nuclear fusion re-ignites at its center. A white dwarf is so dense that fusion sweeps rapidly out from the center, releasing the tremendous energy that blows the star apart.