The image above is by David Hardy of Well I've been sick these last several weeks, I decided tonight to just have some fun surfing the net and finding some articles and animations that some may like to look at regarding supernova, especially Type Ia as 2011fe is. SN 2011fe is cool because it is the brightest supernovae to occur in the last 40 years. From what I have read initially, this SN as a Type Ia has spectra lines that have indicted this may be a SN caused by a collision of two white dwarfs, or it is quite possible that the companion Red Giant is too small to pick up. I think more lean to the second theory. No progenitor though has been discovered on Hubble images for where the SN occurred. Again, this may be because the progenitor was fainter than the images could capture.
NOVA online has a nice walk through of a Typical Type Ia SN. Here is a link to the NOVA site.
AstronomyNow online magazine has a nice animation and article located here, of a Type IA SN being caused by two white dwarfs that are orbiting each other and then eventually collide. It is a nice article to read and learn from.
Finally, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has a nice overview article with images of both Type Ia and Type II supernova. Here is the link if you want to hunt that information down.
You may wonder why I am not going on in the post to explain about Supernova or a Supernovae. The reason is simple. The information is out there and I think the links do a better job than I do in explaining it.
Here is the AAVSO site regarding SN 2011fe. Shows that many amateurs have participated in the making of the light curve. You can still help if you want by going to the site, reading the info, observing and reporting your estimated magnitude. I hope some of you get out and enjoy the sky. Tonight is one of the best nights this year and here I am stuck in bed trying to recover. Hopefully your skies are clear and you get some great observing in.
Here is a movie of a white dwarf that has been accreting matter from its Red Giant companion and that leads to a nova outburst. Here is the link to the movie.
Finally, here is a good article with references on the causes of Type IA with their strength and weaknesses of each theory.