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National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)

When Is a Nova Not a ‘Nova’? When a White Dwarf and a Brown Dwarf Collide

8 Oct 2018, 04:00 UTC
When Is a Nova Not a ‘Nova’? When a White Dwarf and a Brown Dwarf Collide ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. P. S. Eyres

Using ALMA, an international team of astronomers found evidence that a white dwarf (the elderly remains of a Sun-like star) and a brown dwarf (a failed star without the mass to sustain nuclear fusion) collided in a short-lived blaze of glory that was witnessed on Earth in 1670 as Nova sub Capite Cygni (a New Star below the Head of the Swan), which is now known as CK Vulpeculae.

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