Leicester: One of the Most Luminous ‘New Stars’ Ever Discovered

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Leicester: One of the Most Luminous ‘New Stars’ Ever Discovered

Postby bystander » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:01 pm

Scientists Discover One of the Most Luminous ‘New Stars’ Ever
University of Leicester, UK | 2017 Oct 11

University of Leicester contributes to best-ever results on a ‘new star’ in a nearby galaxy

Astronomers have today announced that they have discovered possibly the most luminous ‘new star’ ever – a nova discovered in the direction of one of our closest neighboring galaxies: The Small Magellanic Cloud. ...

Using telescopes from South Africa to Australia to South America, as well as the orbiting Swift observatory, a team led by the South African Astronomical Observatory has revealed that the nova SMCN 2016-10a, which was discovered on 14th October 2016, is the most luminous nova ever discovered in the SMC, and one of the brightest ever seen in any galaxy. The observations that they made are the most comprehensive ever for a nova in this galaxy. ...

Multiwavelength Observations of Nova SMCN 2016-10a ---
One of the Brightest Novae Ever Observed
- E. Aydi et al
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Re: Leicester: One of the Most Luminous ‘New Stars’ Ever Discovered

Postby MargaritaMc » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:09 pm

South African National Research Foundation
http://www.nrf.ac.za/media-room/news/salt-helps-study-new-nova-200-000-light-years-earth
SALT helps study new nova 200 000 light years from Earth

[...]The new study led by Elias Aydi, a PhD student jointly affiliated with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and the University of Cape Town (UCT), has been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society journal. The study is based on optical observations from the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) in Sutherland, South Africa; MASTER-instruments in Sutherland and Argentina; the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) telescope in Australia; the SMARTS, OGLE, and SOAR telescopes in Chile; and X-ray and ultraviolet observations from the Swift satellite.[...]

After its unprecedented peak brightness, the brightness of Nova SMCN 2016-10a decreased quickly in a matter of few days which tells us that the white dwarf is quite massive, probably about 1.3 times the mass of the Sun. The study co-author Patricia Whitelock, from the SAAO and UCT, said “In such systems, if the white dwarf keeps soaking up matter and grows beyond 1.4 times the mass of the Sun, there is a good chance that it will detonate in a really big explosion, what we call a supernova, blowing up both of the stars and anything else that gets in the way.” [...]
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
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