Washington: 'Messy' Star Made Its Companion Go Supernova

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18469
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Washington: 'Messy' Star Made Its Companion Go Supernova

Post by bystander » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:23 pm

Signatures of a 'Messy' Star That Made Its Companion Go Supernova
University of Washington, Seattle | 2019 Jan 10
G299_remnant_web[1].jpg
An X-ray/infrared composite image of G299, a Type Ia supernova remnant
in the Milky Way Galaxy approximately 16,000 light years away.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/UTexas/2MASS/UMass/Caltech/NSF)

Many stars explode as luminous supernovae when, swollen with age, they run out of fuel for nuclear fusion. But some stars can go supernova simply because they have a close and pesky companion star that, one day, perturbs its partner so much that it explodes.

These latter events can happen in binary star systems, where two stars attempt to share dominion. While the exploding star gives off lots of evidence about its identity, astronomers must engage in detective work to learn about the errant companion that triggered the explosion. ...

An international team of astronomers announced that they have identified the type of companion star that made its partner in a binary system, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf star, explode. Through repeated observations of SN 2015cp, a supernova 545 million light years away, the team detected hydrogen-rich debris that the companion star had shed prior to the explosion. ...

The supernova material smacked into this stellar litter at 10 percent the speed of light, causing it to glow with ultraviolet light that was detected by the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories nearly two years after the initial explosion. By looking for evidence of debris impacts months or years after a supernova in a binary star system, the team believes that astronomers could determine whether the companion had been a messy red giant or a relatively neat and tidy star. ...

Delayed Circumstellar Interaction for Type Ia SN 2015cp Revealed by an HST Ultraviolet Imaging Survey ~ M L. Graham et al
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor