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Scientists have recorded a white dwarf that exploded hit a nearby star to cause a supernova



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  • Scientists have witnessed the first moments of a star dying in unprecedented details.
  • They were working on a project that aims to solve the mystery of how the stars explode.
  • It's the first time that everyone has seen a white dwarf blast hit by a neighboring star to bring about a supernova.

An international research team used the Kepler space telescope in recent days in coordination with terrestrial telescopes to witness the first moments of a dying star.

They witnessed the death of the star a long time ago in a galaxy about 170 million light years away as part of a project that wants to solve the mystery of how stars explode .

It's the first time that everyone has seen a white dwarf blast hit by a neighboring star to bring about a supernova. Others observed have been caused by hitting two white dwarfs.

Dr. Brad Tucker, one of the leading researchers in the survey, claims that the series of high power telescopes on February 4 detected the light coming from the explosion star, also called supernova called SN 2018oh.

"Kepler – in its last days before being left without fuel and retreating – observed changes in the brightness of the star blast from its beginnings, while terrestrial telescopes were detected color changes and the atomic makeup of this dying star, "says Dr. Tucker of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Research School of the ANU.

"With the combined data of these telescopes, astronomers achieved what they expected: an unprecedented observation of the appearance of death of a star."

SN 2018oh is an example of a supernova type Ia – the kind used by astronomers to measure the expansion of the Universe and test the nature of dark energy.

"Before Kepler, it was virtually impossible to study the first stages of a starburst," said Dr. Tucker.

A typical supernova type Ia explodes over three weeks before gradually disappearing, but this supernova quickly illuminated a few days after the initial explosion: approximately three times faster than a typical supernova during this period of time

The Dark Energy camera of the Inter-American Observatory Cerro Tololo in Chile and the Panoramic Research Telescope and Quick Response System at the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii revealed the brilliant supernova during this intense period of " Intensity, indicating extremely high temperatures.

Some theoretical models propose that a white dwarf that explodes, a star that has exhausted its nuclear fuel, hits a neighboring star to cause a supernova, which seems to be the cause of SN 2018oh.

"It is possible in the case of SN 2018oh that the shock wave of the white dwarf that exploded entered the star of the company, creating an extremely hot and bright halo that explains the brightness and heat added that we observe, "says Dr. Tucker.

"With this last result, we now know a series of star systems that cause these important explosions, those used by the rector of the ANU and the astronomer Brian Schmidt to show that the Universe grows at an accelerated pace.

"The Kepler space telescope now removed changed our vision of the Universe, showing how ordinary planets are around other stars. Now we have also revolutionized what we know about how the stars end their lives. their lives in shining explosions ".

Tucker says that knowing the frequency and distribution of this type of supernova type Ia would help to refine the models used in cosmology to estimate the speed of universe expansion.

Three works of 130 scientists from this study are published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and The Astrophysical Journal.

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