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Scientists discover a cosmic vampire

Fortunately, we had telescopes in place to spot it.

From Earth, the explosion shines brightly blue, indicating that supernova reaches billions of degrees in temperature.

"That's it," said Dr. Brad Tucker, "a very, very massive event."

Dr. Tucker, an astronomer at the Australian National University, was part of a team of 130 international scientists who have been studying data and images from the star explosion taken by telescopes around the world for months.

Supernova, among the most powerful explosions in the galaxy, are extremely rare. Astronomers knew that they could be caused when two white dwarfs-ancient super-stars who spent fuel and pressed gravity around the size of our planet-swept each other.

ANU Professor of Astronomy Dr. Brad Tucker.

ANU Professor of Astronomy Dr. Brad Tucker.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

But they suspect there is another trigger. A white dwarf could swear to another, younger star, braving his materials. At some point, a white dwarf can get so much weight that he has become incapable of supporting himself.

And then, that's theoretical, it would explode.

This white dwarf It seemed that the fate confirmed that theory, Dr. Tucker said.

Like a nuclear bomb, the supernova produced a huge shock wave that was passing through the space in front of the explosion.

Through the telescope, astronomers noted that the impact stroke hit the neighboring star of a white dwarf. The shock wave was strong enough to "push it out of the way," says Dr. Tucker.

"It will not cause the other star to break, but it will mess it up."

Scientists will use the star death record to study how the supernova forms and ignites. There are many unanswered questions, says Dr. Tucker.

The announcements are published on Saturday Astrophysical Journal of Letters and Astrophysical magazine.

Liam is the journalist of Fairfax Media

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