NASA spacecraft was “hit” by a bright, never-before-seen object
TESS, a spacecraft carrying a space super telescope, on a mission to hunt for potentially habitable exoplanets, has just captured a object completely new astronomy called “micronova” – “micronova”.
“Micronovae are extremely powerful events, but small on astronomical scales” – sheet Sci-News cites the conclusion of a research team led by astronomer Simone Scaringi from Durham University (UK).
The white dwarf star (small white object) created micronovae erupting from the poles after a supernova because of its “blood-sucking” companion, a red giant – Photo: ESO / M. Kornmesser / L. Calçada.
The team said that they were analyzing data from TESS when they discovered three bright beams of light coming from the three binary star systems TV Columbae, EI Ursae Majoris and ASASSN-19bh. The main beams are micronovae.
Two micronovae come from known white dwarfs, TV Columbae and EI Ursae Majoris, but the third micronova, ASASSN-19bh, requires more observations with the X-Shooter instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) ) of ESO to confirm its white dwarf status.
Micronovae show up in telescope data as bright optical beams that last for several hours. It occurs at the magnetic poles of white dwarfs, where hydrogen is stored. The reason is that these white dwarfs have previously had “vampire” behavior, sucking blood from their companions. Sometimes they get overloaded and create small explosions – micronovas.
This event is very powerful but much smaller than a supernova – the end-of-life explosion that tore apart a white dwarf. A white dwarf is a form of stellar corpse, created after a star like the Sun runs out of energy, collapsing after a period of swelling into a red giant.
The study has just been published in a scientific journal Nature.
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