A supernova is a stellar explosion that produces an extremely bright object made of plasma that declines to invisibility over weeks or months. There are several different types of supernovae and two possible routes to their formation. A massive star may cease to generate fusion energy from fusing the nuclei of atoms in its core and collapse inward under the force of its own gravity to form a neutron star or black hole, or a white dwarf star may accumulate material from a companion star until it nears its Chandrasekhar limit and undergoes runaway nuclear fusion in its interior, completely disrupting it. In either case, the resulting supernova explosion expels much or all of the stellar material with great force.
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