Birth of the fastest nova on record

(ORDO NEWS) — The new star caught the world of astronomy by surprise. It would not have come to the attention of scientists, but fortunately, an amateur astronomer from Japan, Seiji Ueda, reported that he had discovered such an unusual phenomenon. Scientists are thrilled to see the fastest new star ever recorded.

A bright nova usually fades over several weeks or longer. On June 12, 2021, the nova V1674 Hercules flared so brightly that it was visible to the naked eye, but dimmed again a little more than a day later.

Star formation at this rate is rare, making it a valuable object of study.

While the astronomical world has been watching V1674 Hercules, other researchers have discovered that its speed is not the only unusual feature. The light and energy it sends out also pulsates like the sound of a bell.

Every 501 seconds, there is a wobble that observers can see in both visible light and X-rays. A year after the explosion, the new star is still showing this wobble.

“Most unusually, this wobble was seen before the outburst, but it was also noticeable when the nova was about 10 magnitudes brighter,” says Mark Wagner of Ohio State University.

The team also noticed something strange while observing the material ejected by the nova’s explosion – some kind of wind, which may depend on the position of the white dwarf and companion star, is shaping the flow of materials into space around the system.

New stars can tell us more about how stars in binary systems evolve until they die, a process that is not well understood. They also act as living laboratories where scientists can see nuclear physics in action and test theoretical concepts.


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