gravitational collapse

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A phenomenon predicted by the general theory of relativity in which matter collapses as a consequence of gravitational attraction until it becomes a compact object such as a white dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole. The process of gravitational collapse is thought to be important in astrophysics since it gives rise to phenomena such as supernova explosions and gamma-ray bursts. The compact object formed depends on the mass of the initial star.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Physics.

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