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A supernova is the result of a cataclysmic event that originates in some star systems. Traditionally thought of as an exploding star, in reality, supernovae are caused by different mechanisms depending on the type. Discover the variety of supernova types and their properties using Wolfram|Alpha. Type II supernovae are modeled on the core collapse of a supergiant star as it ends its life. Type Ia supernovae are modeled on the accretion of material onto a white dwarf star from an orbiting companion star until a critical mass is reached, causing the collapse of the white dwarf into a neutron star. Type Ib and Ic supernovae are similar to Type II in that they are modeled after a core collapse of a massive star, but in this case, much of the outer envelope of the progenitor star has been stripped away prior to the event.


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