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Supernova Photo of the Day and Cool New Findings

Remnant of the Kepler supernova. Credit: Chandra X-ray Center
Remnant of the Kepler supernova. Credit: Chandra X-ray Center

The image above is of the Kepler supernova remnant, first discovered in 1604, and one of only a few Type Ia supernovas known to have exploded in the Milky Way galaxy. Its proximity and its identifiable explosion date make it an excellent object to study.

In a new study, researchers from NC State have found that the supernova was triggered by an interaction between a white dwarf and a red giant star, rather than the interaction between two white dwarf stars. These results could imply that many Type Ia supernovas have a similar origin, but the authors warn that they are unsure whether Kepler was a typical explosion.

Their results appear in the Astrophysical Journal.

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