Astronomers have found a star whose size indicates that it will one day be consumed as fuel so that the neighbor could turn into a supernova. The pair is only 1,500 light-years away, so it would be spectacular to see from Earth if an explosion occurred. However, for an estimated 70 million years to be ignited there is no guarantee that anyone will be here to see it. Astronomers always find proto-supernovae. Any star with a mass greater than eight times that of the Sun would end its life in a miraculous explosion, the most famous example being the Beatles. However, these are the main landslide supernovae. Type IA supernovae are harder to find before they go because they originate from white dwarfs, which are not found if they are not very close.
However, white dwarfs do not explode on their own they need neighbors to feed them extra mass to become supernovae and these stars can be bright enough. Researchers at the University of Nature Astronomy in Warwick announced the discovery of a companion star that seemed certain to be swallowed up in this way. The pair of stars is named HD265435. We see a suburban star with about 60 percent of the Sun’s mass orbiting the Sun in a permanent orbit for about 100 minutes. Although we cannot see the object it is dancing with, the speed of the orbit allows us to calculate that it must have a mass one percent greater than that of the Sun, something that is huge, invisible to our binoculars, must be a white dwarf.
White dwarfs are the ultrasound remnants of fused stars. Most of them live their second life in silence, slowly cooling off. But luck is different from those who are close binary companions. They can either draw material from neighboring stars or integrate perfectly with it. In both cases, bypassing the 1.4 solar populations, they become unstable and explode as type IA supernovae.
In addition to spectacular shows, within a few thousand light-years they give anyone a glimpse, they serve as standard candles, revealing the distance to their home galaxy. It laid the groundwork for this century’s revolution of the universe, revealing the existence of dark forces that accelerated the expansion of the universe. Lead study author Dr. Ingrid Pelisoli said in a statement, “We don’t know how this superhuman exploded, but we know it has to happen because we see it happen somewhere else in the universe.”
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