(ORDO NEWS) — A supernova is a bright stellar explosion. Supernovae, proceeding with the participation of thermonuclear reactions, in particular, suggest the complete destruction of the white dwarf, after which a void remains in its place. At least that’s what the models and observations indicated.
So when, in a new study, scientists discovered an even brighter star than the original star at the site of a relatively recent “thermonuclear” supernova called SN 2012Z, they were amazed and immediately tried to offer a rational explanation.
These “thermonuclear” supernovae are called Type Ia supernovae, and they play a large role in determining cosmic distances, but the mechanism of such stellar explosions is still debatable.
Astronomers generally agree that these outbursts are related to the destruction of the white dwarf, but what exactly is the cause of its explosion is not yet known exactly.
According to one of the hypotheses, the matter in the binary system flows to the white dwarf from the companion star, and when the mass of the white dwarf reaches a certain limit, thermonuclear reactions are triggered in the core and an explosion occurs.
The SN 2012Z explosion was an unusual subtype of Type Ia supernova, sometimes referred to as a Type Iax supernova. They are a fainter analogue of a Type Ia supernova.
Because these explosions are less powerful and fast-paced than Type Ia supernovae, some scientists suggest that these explosions can be considered “failed” Type Ia supernovae. The results of this study allow us to confirm this version.
In 2012, a supernova exploded in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 1309, which was observed in detail with the Hubble Space Telescope and became known as 2012Z.
However, upon further observations of the remnants of this stellar explosion, scientists discovered the progenitor star of the supernova, which was not only a dimmer, but even brighter source.
For decades, scientists believed that Type Ia supernovae occur when a white dwarf reaches a certain mass limit, called the Chandrasekhar limit.
Recently, astronomers have found more and more cases that contradict this model, as less massive Type Ia supernovae are increasingly encountered.
According to the authors of the study, it was the achievement of the theoretical limit of the white dwarf mass that could cause a type Ia supernova explosion in the case of the SN 2012Z source, while in other cases stars may not reach the Chandrasekhar limit.
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