The fastest nova has just been discovered!


It was also visible at theeye naked: scientists report in a report of theAmerican Astronomical Society the discovery of the nova the fastest ever observed! It was just over a year ago: it appeared in the sky on June 12, 2021, only to vanish after just one day. “It was only about a day; the previous fastest nova was the one we studied in 1991, the V838 Herculis, which decayed in about two or three days “explains Summer Starrfield, professor e astrophysicist at the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration.

Called V1674 Herculis, it is, as the name suggests, in the constellation of Hercules, visible fromnorthern hemisphere during the summer nights. She was discovered by chance, by a astronomer amateur based in Japan, then studied by several American astronomers and astrophysicists. Usually, such events last from a week to a few months. These bright bursts appear in the sky as new starshence the term Nova who has been chosen to designate them.

Fragments of white dwarfs

Corresponds to a issue sudden and intense light visible from to binary systemcomposed of a star and a White dwarf. The latter is in fact a remnant of a dead star: following the death of a star not very massive when it runs out of fuel. Then go through the phase of red giant, where its upper layers extend. Its outer layers are then ejected, leaving only the star’s core which compresses and turns into a white dwarf.

It is often found in binary systemsthese stars particularly compact attraction it matters of their less dense companion. When its matter deforms and writhes as it moves towards the white dwarf, it forms a accretion disk. Inside this disc, the matter heats up intensely, so much so that it transforms into plasma, therefore into gas ionized. And this ionized gas heats up. Much. To the point of provoking, when the temperature and the pressure reach peaks, thermonuclear explosions. Exit frompower sudden events which are then detected by astronomers.

Contains other mysteries

But be careful not to confuse it with a supernova indicating the death of a massive star in black hole Where is it neutron star, or the explosion of a white dwarf when it becomes too massive. However, they can, like supernovae, lead to the construction of solar systems, similar to ours. This is what the research team is trying to study. ” We are still trying to understand how the Solar System was formed, where it is chemical elements, assures S. Starrfield. One of the things we will learn from this nova is, for example, the amount of lithium that was produced by this explosion. We are now pretty sure that a significant fraction of the lithium we have on Earth was produced by these types of explosions. ”

In addition to its speed, the researchers noted another peculiarity: the light and energy we receive from the V1674 Herculis pulse. Every 501 seconds there is a visible wobble in both the visible and the X-ray. Even today, one year later, this pulsation continues, always with the same regularity. “The most unusual thing is that this oscillation was observed before the explosion, but it was also present when the nova was brightest, by about 10 sizessays Mark Wagner, a researcher at the University of Ohio. In the future, the team intends to investigate the cause of the explosion, hence the processes leading to a major thermonuclear explosion similar to this, and especially on the cause of the duration so short.

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