(ORDO NEWS) — These beams have an energy of about 250 gigaelectronvolts – one of the highest values ever measured from the novae.
A small, dense star engulfs the remnants of its dying stellar neighbor, causing a massive explosion that generates some of the most energetic beams recorded from novae on record.
This system, called RS Ophiuchus, was the source of extremely high-energy gamma radiation during the last thermonuclear explosion that occurred on it, which was observed by astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich in August 2021.
Located 5,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus, the RS Ophiuchus system contains one red giant star and one white dwarf that exist in a parasitic relationship called the nova re-system.
The dense white dwarf absorbs the hydrogen shell from the outer layer of the red giant, eventually acquiring enough material for the white dwarf to overheat and produce a massive thermonuclear burst called a nova.
Such explosions occur periodically in repeated nova systems, and for the RS Ophiuchus system, the cycle duration is approximately 15 years.
A team of astronomers recently observed a nova flare in the RS Ophiuchus system using the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) dual detectors, revealing the presence of high-energy gamma rays with energies on the order of 250 gigaelectronvolts – the highest energy ever recorded for a nova , they explained.
Astronomers will continue to search for similar high-energy jets in novae systems within our galaxy to better understand the interactions within them.
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