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Science in the News: Supernovae: heavenly fireworks
Ross, H. 1987.  Facts and Faith 1(1):1. CELD ID 6201

Of all stellar events, a supernova is the most energetic. When a large star exhausts its primary supply of fusion fuel, namely hydrogen and helium, it no longer has the energy to resist gravitational collapse. The outer shell of the star falls freely towards the core, crushing it, and igniting one last cataclysmic nuclear explosion. So spectacular is the blast that for several months a supernova can outshine a billion other stars.