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Meet the “zombie star” that endured the supernova explosion

Meet the “zombie star” that endured the supernova explosion

Meet the “zombie star” that endured the supernova explosion

“zombie star” that endured the supernova explosion

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  • Astronomers observe a star that survived what ordinarily should have been certain death.
  • The star at issue is a kind known as a white dwarf, an incredibly dense object.
  • This white dwarf is gravitationally lock in orbit with another star.
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A star that not only survived a massive explosion known as a supernova; that typically should have been guaranteed death; but also emerged from it brighter than before the blast; has been spotted by astronomers in a relatively close galaxy. The star in question is a type of star known as a white dwarf; an extraordinarily dense entity with roughly the mass of the sun; compressed into the size of Earth. It was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope. A white dwarf is the core of a star that has lost most of its mass; near the conclusion of its life cycle; much like our sun will in around 5 billion years.

With its powerful gravitational pull, this white dwarf; which is gravitationally trapped in orbit with another star; in what is known as a binary system, extracted and incorporated; a significant amount of material from its unhappy companion.

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That’s where things became complicated. This triggered thermonuclear events in the white dwarf’s core to explode in a supernova; an event that should have killed it. The mass of the white dwarf at this point; was around 1.4 times that of the sun.

As the lead author of the study that was recently published in the Astrophysical Journal, Curtis McCully; a senior astrodata scientist at the Las Cumbres Observatory in California; said, “We were quite surprised that the star itself had not been destroyed; but had actually survived and is brighter than before it exploded.”

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