Micronova, a small but powerful new kind of stellar explosion

ILO / NASA

The stars have more ways to explode than we thought. Mikronova is a small but powerful stellar explosion that has much in common with its larger counterparts. The difference is that it only happens over the poles of the stars.

A group of astronomers has discovered a new kind of stellar explosion. THE micronovaso named, based on a small, rapid flash of light from a white dwarf.

IFL Science begins by explaining that type 1a nova and supernovae are both the result of an interaction between white dwarfs and companion stars.

White dwarfs are so dense that they can pick up material from more dispersed neighbors. When so much material accumulates in a white dwarf, it explodes as a supernova. In other cases, the material forms a shell on top of the white dwarf, leading to a more modest but very intense explosion in which large amounts of newly acquired hydrogen fuse into helium within a few weeks.

However, in some cases, white dwarfs with strong magnetic fields “narrow” the material to their poles, causing a novel explosion, but limited to small parts of the starand thus less energetic.

“For the first time, we discovered that hydrogen fusion can also occur inside localized form. Fuel may be at the bottom of the magnetic poles of some white dwarfs, so fusion occurs only at these magnetic poles.

The group’s conclusions were based on the findings Very large telescope From the European Southern Observatory in the Atacama Desert, Chile. A scientific article with its findings was published in Nature.

ZAP //

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