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A supernova (abbreviated SN, plural SNe after "supernovae") is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. It is pronounced suːpəˈnoʊvə with the plural supernovae ˌsuːpəˈnoʊviː or supernovas. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months. During this short interval a supernova can radiate as much energy as the Sun is expected to emit over its entire life span. The explosion expels much or all of a star's materia at a velocity of up to 30,000 km/s (10% of the speed of light), driving a shock wave into the surrounding interstellar medium. This shock wave sweeps up an expanding shell of gas and dust called a supernova remnant Supernovae can be triggered in one of two ways: by the sudden reignition of nuclear fusion in a degenerate star; or by the collapse of the core of a massive star. A degenerate white dwarf may accumulate sufficient material from a companion, either through accretion or via a merger, to raise its core temperature, ignite carbon fusion, and trigger runaway nuclear fusion, completely disrupting the star. The core of a massive star may undergo sudden gravitational collapse, releasing gravitational potential energy that can create a supernova explosion. Although no supernova has been observed in the Milky Way since SN 1604, supernovae remnants indicate that on average the event occurs about three times every century in the Milky Way. They play a significant role in enriching the interstellar medium with higher mass elements. Furthermore, the expanding shock waves from supernova explosions can trigger the formation of new stars
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