Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Astro-image of the day: before-and-after supernova

On the left we have a binary-star system, where a white dwarf star (radius about 100 times smaller than the Sun) is consuming a red gaint (whose radius is about 100 times larger than our Sun). At a critical point, BOOOOM! The system goes kaplooey, because the white dward can't hold that much mass, and you get the supernova remnant on the right 20 days later, with a radius of about 450 AUs, thousands of times larger than the image on the left (for scale, see the little box in the center of the supernova that corresponds to the image on the left).

Click the image to see the story.

Tags: astronomy

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