When studying a thermonuclear explosion, scientists “turned back the clock”

(ORDO NEWS) — A team of astronomers from the American space agency NASA used data from three space telescopes for a simulation that allowed her to “turn back the clock.” This helped restore the chronology of the stellar explosion.

A brief report on the study is published on the NASA website. Astronomers have been studying a supernova remnant called SNR 0519.

This object is the debris from a white dwarf explosion. Scientists have determined that this star was destroyed in a thermonuclear explosion. This happened when reaching a critical mass or as a result of a collision with another white dwarf.

To trace the chronology of the explosion, scientists decided to literally look into the past. To clarify, SNR 0519 is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy located 160,000 light-years from Earth.

Astronomers obtained data on the remnants of the star using the Chandra X-ray observatory and the Hubble space telescope.

The obtained data were then combined with observational data from the Spitzer space telescope. All this was done in order to find out how long ago SNR 0519 exploded. Data from three sources at once helped scientists “turn back the clock” and “rewind” the evolution of the star.

The researchers compared images of the same region from 2010, 2011 and 2020. This helped them measure the speed of the material in the blast wave. Calculations showed that it was up to nine million kilometers per hour.

Until now, it was believed that the light from the explosion reached the Earth about 670 years ago. It happened during the Hundred Years War between England and France. Records of this event are available in historical sources, in particular, in the manuscripts of the heyday of the Ming Dynasty in China.

However, a new study found that historians may have been describing a different event. As for the studied explosion, the new data suggests that the speed of movement of material in the blast wave could have slowed down.

This means that the explosion itself occurred relatively recently. The results imply that part of the blast wave crashed into the dense gas around the star’s remnant, slowing it down. However, astronomers have yet to more accurately determine when the indicated star actually died.


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