Nova GK Persei is a white dwarf star that threw an epic fit. It steals material from its companion star, and this material piles up on its surface, heated and hugely compressed. All at once it underwent catastrophic nuclear fusion, detonating like a bomb, blasting countless trillions of tons of matter outward at 1000 km/sec. The light reached Earth in 1901, and over the ensuing century we have watched the debris expand like fireworks.
Read more: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/01/24/nova_explosion_gk_persei_expanding_debris_animation.html
Video credit: Tiina Liimets et al.
Audio: Kevin MacLeod, “Mechanolith”, incompetech.com