Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Astronomers have discovered a new type of supernova

Previously it was thought that supernova typically have one of two main scenarios. But a team of astronomers, including Wendy Friedman, Mark Phillips and Eric Persson of Carnegie, reported the discovery of a new type of supernova, called type 1ah.

Astronomers used to divide supernova into two main categories: type 1a supernova and supernova occurring core-collapse. Supernova, accompanied by collapse of the core,

are explosions of stars whose masses range from 10 to 100 times the mass of our Sun. Supernovae type 1a is almost complete destruction of the tiny white dwarf.

A new type of supernova 1ah, much less bright and less powerful than the type 1a. Although the core of both of these types is the explosion of white dwarf, but SNe 1ah not destroy it completely.

Based on numerous observations, the researchers concluded that SNe 1ah occur in binary systems, which include the white dwarf and its companion - a normal star, which loses its outer layer of hydrogen remaining enriched with helium. Helium white dwarf pulls from the normal star, which leads to an explosion, scientists say.

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