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First Evidence of Gigantic Remains from Star Explosions

12 Jan 2019, 08:43 UTC
First Evidence of Gigantic Remains from Star Explosions
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Astrophysicists have found the first ever evidence of gigantic remains being formed from repeated explosions on the surface of a dead star in the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light years from Earth.The remains or “super-remnant” measures almost 400 light years across. For comparison, it takes just 8 minutes for light from the Sun to reach us.A white dwarf is the dead core of a star. When it is paired with a companion star in a binary system, it can potentially produce a nova explosion.If the conditions are right, the white dwarf can pull gas from its companion star and when enough material builds up on the surface of the white dwarf, it triggers a thermonuclear explosion or “nova”, shining a million times brighter than our Sun and initially moving at up to 10,000 km per second.Astrophysicists including Dr Steven Williams from Lancaster University in the UK examined the nova M31N 2008-12a in the Andromeda Galaxy, one of our nearest neighbors.They used Hubble Space Telescope imaging, accompanied by spectroscopy from telescopes on Earth, to help uncover the nature of a gigantic super-remnant surrounding the nova. This is the first time such a huge remnant has been associated with a nova, and ...

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