Scientists have discovered a flash from the merger of a dead star and its companion: the result is a supernova that is not of any type known to astronomers.
The authors of the new work suggested that the unusual explosion 500 million light years away was caused by the merger of a neutron star or black hole with a nearby large, still living star.
A star at the end of its life explodes and turns into a supernova, in which case there are two scenarios:
- The first is that if it is a massive star, then after the explosion it turns into a black hole or neutron star.
- Second, if it is a small star, then it becomes a white dwarf, and then can pull matter from a nearby star for a long time.
Sometimes in a pair of massive stars, one explodes as a supernova, turning into a neutron star or a black hole, in which case it can remain in orbit with a neighbor and gradually approach it, entering its upper envelopes.
After that, the second star begins to eject a mass of matter, forming a whole cloud. As you get closer, an explosion occurs between objects. Astronomers first observed it thanks to the VLA radio telescope group.
The authors of the new work saw a bright flare VT J121001 + 4959647 back in 2017, and even earlier in 2014. This event, according to the researchers, is the birth of a rare supernova of a new type.