A White Dwarf Living on the Edge

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White dwarfs — the last stage in the life of stars less than eight times the mass of our Sun — operate a little differently from most stars; the smaller they are, the more mass they have. When a stellar pair become white dwarfs together, they have two possible futures; if they’re massive enough, they die together in a supernova. If they’re not, they merge into a white dwarf much more massive than they were, teetering on the edge of collapse from all of their mass.
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