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Scientists May Be Missing Many Star Explosions

Artist's impression of the central system of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi early in its 2006 outburst. Hydrogen-rich material from the red giant falls onto the surface of its companion white dwarf, leading to a runaway thermonuclear explosion. Ejecta travelling at several thousand kilometers per second slams into the wind of the red giant, setting up shocks with temperatures more than 10 times higher than in the sun's core. RS Ophiuchi may end its life as a Type Ia supernova. (Image credit: STFC/David Hardy.)

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