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Firework Nova

Chandra X-ray Observatory Center2015-07-02

NASA

NASA
Washington, DC, United States

In Hollywood blockbusters, explosions are often among the stars of the show. In space, explosions of actual stars are a focus for scientists who hope to better understand their births, lives, and deaths and how they interact with their surroundings.

Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have studied one particular explosion that may provide clues to the dynamics of other, much larger stellar eruptions.

A team of researchers pointed the telescope at GK Persei, an object that became a sensation in the astronomical world in 1901 when it suddenly appeared as one of the brightest stars in the sky for a few days, before gradually fading away in brightness. Today, astronomers cite GK Persei as an example of a “classical nova,” an outburst produced by a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star, the dense remnant of a Sun-like star.

Details

  • Title: Firework Nova
  • Creator: Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
  • Date Created: 2015-07-02
  • Location: Goddard
  • Rights: GSFC
  • Album: rsroth

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