White Dwarfs Explode in Ultraviolet Light - Astronomy News with The Cosmic Companion July 24, 2020
Flashes of ultraviolet light from a pair of type Ia supernovae could provide astronomers with clues to the causes of these stellar eruptions.
|The Cosmic Companion||Jul 24|| 1|
White dwarfs explode flash of ultraviolet light gives astronomers new clues to the reasons type Ia supernovae explode.
By James Maynard
White dwarfs stars can explode under certain conditions, but details of these events remains a mysterious process. However, the detection of a flash of ultraviolet light from one of these explosions could help answer questions about these stellar eruptions. This is just the second time such a flash of energy has been seen by astronomers during one of these events.
It could also help researcher better understand the formation of heavy elements, such as iron, as well as providing a look at one of the great mysteries of the Universe — dark energy.
“The UV flash is telling us something very specific about how this white dwarf exploded. As time passes, the exploded material moves farther away from the source. As that material thins, we can see deeper and deeper. After a year, the material will be so thin that we will see all the way into the center of the explosion,” said Northwestern University astrophysicist Adam Miller, who led the research.