Scientists have experienced a unique astronomical event, that of an exploding Nova Star. The team of astronomers has witnessed the images of a thermonuclear explosion in the form of a fireball coming from a nova star. The astronomers could track down the explosion as it kept expanding.
The exploding nova star was first detected last year using the Chara Array infrared telescope. The nova star was discovered in the Delphinus constellation, in the United States.
The astronomers who have witnessed the exploding nova star come from 17 notable institutions worldwide. This includes the Australian National University and the University of Sydney. All the institutions involved analyzed the data from the exploding nova star.
The results were of “unprecedented clarity” and it showed how the fireball was evolving as the gas that was fuelling it was expanding and cooling.
One of the scientists who co-wrote the study about the exploding nova star said:
“We haven’t had the ability to witness such exquisite magnification or high resolution of images until very recently, when we started building these powerful Array telescopes. These explosions are quite unusual events caused by a white dwarf star, which is a burned-out remnant of a star made of very dense material – a teaspoon full of this stuff weighs tonnes. The white dwarf star is like a mosquito that buzzes around the companion star, slowly sucking hydrogen from its companion through a little gravitational straw.”
The scientists say that the explosion created something like a hydrogen “ocean” on the surface of the nova star that was hundred meters thick. He said that the explosion was something like a fireball that is similar to a hydrogen bomb exploding outwards.
This discovery allowed the astronomers to establish the distance of the exploding nova star: 14,800 light years away from the sun.
The astronomers measured the nova star 43 days after the explosion and it had expanded about 20-fold. The exploding nova star expanded at a velocity of more than 600 km per second.
The latest scientific discoveries regarding the exploding nova star were published in the international journal called Nature.
What do you think of the latest astronomical discoveries? Leave your comments in the section below.