Astronomers find signatures of a 'messy' star that made its companion go supernova - Phys.org
Phys.org - Fri 11 Jan 06:14 GMT

Astronomers find signatures of a 'messy' star that made its companion go supernova - Phys.org

Many stars explode as luminous supernovae when, swollen with age, they run out of fuel for nuclear fusion. But some stars can go supernova simply because they have a close and pesky companion star that, one day, perturbs its partner so much that it explodes.

  Through repeated observations of SN 2015cp, a supernova 545 million light years away, the team detected hydrogen-rich debris that the companion star had shed prior to the explosion.

  Plenty of evidence indicates that, for most Type Ia supernovae, the companion was likely another carbon-oxygen white dwarf, which would leave no hydrogen-rich debris in the aftermath.

  The team used Hubble Space Telescope observations to look for ultraviolet emissions from 70 Type Ia supernovae approximately one to three years following the initial explosion.

  "In the future, as a part of its regularly scheduled observations, the LSST will automatically detect optical emissions similar to SN 2015cp—from hydrogen impacted by material from Type Ia supernovae," said Graham said.

  Explore further: First evidence of gigantic remains from star explosions More information: "Delayed Circumstellar Interaction for Type Ia SN 2015cp Revealed by an HST Ultraviolet Imaging Survey," M. L. Graham et al., 2019, Astrophysical Journal , arxiv.org/abs/1812.02757