It was one of the biggest explosions in the universe. To the right of this digital artist's impression you can…
It was one of the biggest explosions in the universe.
To the right of this digital artist’s impression you can see a white dwarf. This little ancient star has captured a big young star in its gravity and leaks out its fuel.
But the dwarf sucks too much and collects as much fuel as it explodes under its own weight. This explosion is known as a supernova and is one of the most powerful events in the universe.
NASA / JPL-CALTECH
The explosion occurred in another galaxy about 170 million light years away; In February, the light finally reached Earth after reaching 170 million years.
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Fortunately, we had telescopes in place to discover it. Nasa’s Kepler Space Telescope discovered it.
The space agency telephoned the Kepler space telescope in October after exhaustion of fuel supply after nine and a half years of groundbreaking operations.
However, Nasa said on its website: “From December to May, while still there was fuel, the Kepler team targeted the spacecraft against two distinct sky types that could also be observed from the ground by ground-based observers. The telescope could see both spots of heaven Each of these thousands of galaxies has billions of stars. “
From the ground the explosion showed a shining blue, an indication that the supernova reached billions of degrees in temperature.
“It is,” said Dr. Brad Tucker, “a very very massive event”.
Tucker, an astronaut at Australian National University, was part of a team of 130 international researchers who spent months studying data and images from the star’s explosion n captured by telescopes around the world.
Supernovae, among the most powerful explosions in the galaxy, are extremely rare. Astronomers knew that they could be caused when two white dwarfs – old superheaval stars that have completed fuel and been compressed by gravity to about the size of our planet – intervened.
But they suspected there was another trigger. A single white dwarf can shout on another, younger star and suck his material away. At a certain time, the white dwarf can get so much mass that it failed to support itself.
And then it was theorized that it would explode
]. The fate of this white dwarf seemed to confirm that theory, Tucker said.
As a nuclear weapon, the supernova created a huge shock wave that raced through space in front of the explosion itself.
Through its telescope, the astronomers discovered that shockwave hit the neighboring star of the white dwarf. The shockwave was strong enough to “push it out of the way,” Tucker said.
“It will not cause the other star to blow up, but it will ruin it.”
Researchers will use the recording of the star’s death to study how supernovae form and ignite. There are many unanswered questions, Tucker says.
The find is published on Saturday in Astrophysical Journal Letters and The Astrophysical Journal.