Astronomers have observed “fragments” of supernova debris moving at full speed toward the edge of the Milky Way

Posted:

10 before 2021 02:35 GMT

The explosion of the star LP 40-365 was so powerful that it shot what was left of it into interstellar space, with such force that it would definitely leave the galaxy at some point.

For some 2000 light years from Earth, Astronomers from Boston University (USA) have discovered a fast-moving star known as LP 40-365. But technically, this cosmic body is no longer a star. They are the remnants of huge white dwarfs that survived, in pieces, from a supernova explosion. Now these fragments are moving toward one edge of the Milky Way, so fast that they’ll leave the galactic disk at some point.

‚ÄúThis star is moving so fast that it will almost certainly leave the galaxy […] scrolls At about 3.2 million kilometers per hour“, He said JJ Hermes, associate professor of astronomy in the Boston University School of Arts and Sciences and lead author of a new study on LP 40-365, published en la revista Astrophysical Journal Letters.

LP 40-365 belongs to A unique kind of fast-moving star, which is not only among the fastest known to astronomers, but also among the richest minerals. While stars like our Sun are composed of helium and hydrogen, stars that have survived a supernova explosion will be composed primarily of metallic matter.

Hermes and his team used data from the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s TESS Telescope, which is dedicated to searching for exoplanets, to take a closer look at the remnants of stars. According to them, new notes from this ‘star fragments’ They will be able to provide more data on other stars with similar pasts.

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By analyzing the data, scientists discovered that LP 40-365 is not only being ejected from the galaxy, but spins too On itself on the way, changing its brightness every nine hours. For a star fragment that survived a supernova explosion, the speed could be considered unusually slow.

Due to the relatively low rotational speed, researchers estimate that LP 40-365 It originated from a binary system of two white dwarfs Very dense, one of them absorbs mass from its partner before exploding. In other words, Hermes and his team suggest that what they observed were “shards” of fragments from the star, which would self-destruct in a supernova explosion after its companion fed it a large mass. “What we see are the byproducts of the violent nuclear reactions that occur when a star explodes,” the astronomer noted.

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Lovell Loxley

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