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Review
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Type Ia Supernovae as Stellar Endpoints and Cosmological Tools

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Review

Type Ia Supernovae as Stellar Endpoints and Cosmological Tools

D Andrew Howell. Nat Commun.

Abstract

Empirically, Type Ia supernovae are the most useful, precise, and mature tools for determining astronomical distances. Acting as calibrated candles they revealed the presence of dark energy and are being used to measure its properties. However, the nature of the Type Ia explosion, and the progenitors involved, have remained elusive, even after seven decades of research. But now, new large surveys are bringing about a paradigm shift--we can finally compare samples of hundreds of supernovae to isolate critical variables. As a result of this, and advances in modelling, breakthroughs in understanding all aspects of these supernovae are finally starting to happen.

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