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Asked by Jeniffer

What is the difference between a type I and type II supernovas?

What we usually think when we hear the word supernova is a massive explosion of a star that can be seen from a large distance because of its huge scale. This is actually a type II supernova, where a massive star, more than 1.4 solar masses (the Chandrasekhar limit), violently explodes from the red supergiant state to become either a neutron star or a black hole. However there is a different type of supernovae, named type Ia, which is a very different phenomenon. It occurs when a white dwarf accumulates mass from a nearby star (usually in a binary system) and when that mass exceeds the Chandrasekhar limit, a supernova explosion is observed.

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