Astronomers first saw the first stage of the explosion of a star (photo)

Scientists were able to fix one of the stages of the explosion of a new one, which until then astronomers had seen only in computer models.

The eROSITA space X-ray telescope was able to capture a very short but powerful explosion on a white dwarf. This phenomenon is called the “fireball” stage during the explosion of a new one. Scientists now have actual proof of such an event, which scientists predicted back in 1990, reports ScienceAlert.

A white dwarf named YZ Reticuli is located in the constellation Reticuli at a distance of 8250 light-years from us. It was this star that burst into a nova explosion, when the brightness of a dead star rises very much. But during the explosion of a new one, there are several stages. Before that, scientists had not observed a stage called the “fireball”, it was only possible to model and predict it in 1990. This stage is a very short burst.

It was this “fireball” that was able to see the eROSITA X-ray telescope, which, by the way, is located in space next to the Webb Space Telescope.

How does a new explosion occur?

A white dwarf is a dead star that has shed its outer layer of matter. These stars are small and very dense. Their mass generally does not exceed 1.4 solar masses. But when this happens, the white dwarf explodes in a supernova.

But when a white dwarf has a larger companion star, it can take matter from its neighbor. Basically, this is hydrogen, which accumulates up to a certain limit, and when it is exceeded, an explosion occurs and a huge amount of matter flies into space. This explosion is called the nova explosion.

When a white dwarf has a larger companion star, it can take matter from its neighbor. Basically, this is hydrogen, which accumulates up to a certain limit, and when it is exceeded, an explosion occurs and a huge amount of matter flies into space. This explosion is called the explosion of the new

Photo: ESO

The predicted “fireball”

During a survey of space, the eROSITA telescope was able to capture a brief flash on a white dwarf in the X-ray range, before the explosion became visible in the optical range. This outbreak, called the “fireball” stage, confirmed long-standing theoretical predictions of its existence.

Explosion of a new, white dwarf

During a survey of space, the eROSITA telescope was able to capture a short flash on a white dwarf in the X-ray range, before the explosion became visible in the optical range

Photo: ScienceAlert

Back in 1990, scientists predicted that there must be a “fireball” stage before the explosion of a new and huge increase in brightness. This stage should appear as a short and bright burst of X-rays before the star becomes optically brighter.

Astronomers from the Friedrich-Alexander University, Germany, under the leadership of Ole Koenig, became the authors of a new discovery.

“The resulting fireball quickly expanded, becoming much larger than the white dwarf itself. By the time eROSITA observed it, the ball was 5 times larger than the Earth. We believe that this fireball initially expands at a rate of several thousand kilometers per second. It’s very fortunate that we were lucky to see this stage of the explosion of the new, “says Koenig.

Scientists managed to make several important measurements. They learned that this flash lasted only 35.8 seconds, that during this time the white dwarf heated up to a temperature of more than 300 thousand degrees Celsius and that the mass of the white dwarf itself is 0.98 times the mass of the Sun.

“Our study now gives a complete picture of the nova explosion,” says Koenig.

Focus already wrote that scientists managed to detect a star system in which a white dwarf explodes new with enviable constancy.