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Observations show shock waves likely key to nova's brightness

2 monthes ago   |   By Astronomy Now

The binary star system V906 Carinae underwent a nova outburst in 2018, generating gamma rays that rose and fell in step with optical emissions, leading astronomers to conclude shock waves are responsible for most of a nova's visible output. Image: Team Chamaeleon, W. Paech + F. Hofmann, Chamaeleon and Onjala Observatory, Namibia..​
On 20 March 2018, a star in the constellation Carina suddenly flared into a nova as gas from a companion sun fell onto the surface of a white dwarf, triggering a runaway thermonuclear explosion that blew off the accumulated material in a titanic outburst.
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