Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Violent helium reaction on white dwarf surface triggers supernova explosion
by Staff Writers
San Francisco CA (SPX) Oct 09, 2017


Upper panels show the first two-days observations of a peculiar type Ia supernova, MUSSES1604D, with Subaru/Hyper Suprime-Cam (left and middle) and follow-up observations with the Gemini-North telescope about one month after the first observation (right). Lower panels show the schematic light curves of MUSSES1604D (green circles denote the stages that the supernova is staying during observations).

An international team of researchers has found evidence a supernova explosion that was first triggered by a helium detonation, reports a new study in Nature this week.

A Type Ia supernova is a type of white dwarf star explosion that occurs in a binary star system where two stars are circling one another. Because these supernovae shine 5 billion times brighter than the Sun they are used in astronomy as a reference point when calculating distances of objects in space. However, no one has been able to find solid evidence of what triggers these explosions. Moreover, these explosions only occur once every 100 years in any given galaxy, making them difficult to spot.

"Studying Type Ia supernovae is important because they are a valuable tool researchers use to measure the expansion of the universe. A more precise understanding of their history and behavior will help all researchers obtain more accurate results," said author and University of Tokyo School of Science Professor Mamoru Doi.

A team of researchers including Senior Scientist Ken'ichi Nomoto, Professor Naoki Yasuda, and Project Assistant Professor Nao Suzuki from the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, and lead by University of Tokyo School of Science PhD candidate Ji-an Jiang and Professor Doi, Associate Professor Keichi Maeda at Kyoto University, and Dr. Masaomi Tanaka at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, hypothesized Type Ia supernova could be the result of a white dwarf star consuming helium from a companion star.

The extra helium coating the star would trigger a violent burning reaction, which in turn would trigger the star to explode from within as a supernova.

To maximize the chances of finding a new or recent Type Ia supernova, the team used the Hyper Suprime-Cam camera on the Subaru Telescope, which can capture a large area of sky at once.

"Among 100 supernovae we discovered in a single night, we identified a Type Ia supernova that had exploded only within a day before our observation. Surprising, this supernova showed a bright flash in the first day, which we thought must be related to the nature of the explosion.

"By comparing the observational data with what we calculated on how burning helium would affect brightness and color over time, we found both theory and observation were in good agreement. This is the first time anyone has found solid evidence supporting a theory," said Maeda.

However, Nomoto says this does not mean they can explain everything about supernovae.

"In this study we found that a supernova was the result of the interaction between a white dwarf star and a companion star made of helium. But do we know whether this companion star was also a white dwarf star or a star much like our Sun? No we don't," said Nomoto.

The team will continue to test their theory against other supernovae. Details of their study were published online in Nature on October 4.

Research paper

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Scientists still confounded by Milky Way's most mysterious star
Washington (UPI) Oct 4, 2017
Tabby's Star continues to confound astronomers. New analysis shows the Milky Way's 'most mysterious star' has experienced brief periods of brightening amid its prolonged dimming. The star, officially titled KIC 8462852, and sometimes called Boyajian's Star, first caught astronomers attention in 2015. While monitoring the F-type main-sequence star, NASA's Kepler Space Telescope captured ... read more

Related Links
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Alaska antenna to improve NASA's space communications system

USNO Astronomers Measure New Distances To Nearby Stars

NASA May Extend BEAM's Time on the International Space Station

OECD calls for tourism to be more sustainable

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
New Zealand opens first rocket launch site

Arianespace to launch COSMO-SkyMed satellites manufactured by Thales

Arianespace signs contract for 10 Vega and Vega C launchers

Launch Vehicle and Missile Ascent Trajectories

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Lockheed Martin Reveals New Details to its Mars Base Camp Vision

Fresh Look at Old Data Yields Surprise Near Martian Equator

Methane belches kept water flowing on ancient Mars

Another Chance to Put Your Name on Mars

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
UN official commends China's role in space cooperation

China launches three satellites

Mars probe to carry 13 types of payload on 2020 mission

China's cargo spacecraft separates from Tiangong-2 space lab

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
L-Band Satellite Operators Need To Reposition

Spacepath Communications Acquires Tango Wave

Lockheed Martin Completes First Flexible Solar Array for LM 2100 Satellite

Brodeur Partners Launches Entrepreneurial Space Group

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
CONFERS to Establish "Rules of the Road" for On-Orbit Servicing of Satellites

Teleoperating robots with virtual reality

Fast-moving magnetic particles could enable new form of data storage

Sputnik, the tiny sphere that launched the space race

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Biomarker Found In Space Complicates Search For Life On Exoplanets

The Super-Earth that Came Home for Dinner

Indicator of extraterrestrial life?

MATISSE to Shed Light on the Formation of Earth and Planets

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Helicopter test for Jupiter icy moons radar

Solving the Mystery of Pluto's Giant Blades of Ice

Global Aerospace Corporation to present Pluto lander concept to NASA

Pluto features given first official names




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement