Telescopes Observe Brilliant Nova Shockwaves
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Text, News From The Universe. April 17, 2020
Telescopes Observe Brilliant Nova Shockwaves.
Evidence from multiple telescopes indicates that most of the visible light from a nova outburst comes from shockwaves, not the explosion itself.
It was a surprise to see high-energy gamma rays appear at the same tome as the peak in visible light.
This is what astronomers thinks happened.
The white dwarf star V 9 0 6 Carinae has a nova outburst explosion that sends debris out in a thick, expanding ring.
Days later, residual nuclear fusion creates a faster outflow that slams into the debris, creating bright shockwaves.
Later another, even faster outflow crashes into all the slower debris at 5.6 million miles per hour, creating new shockwaves and brilliant flares.
NASA mission Fermi and Nu Star joined Canadian telescope BRITE Toronto in the observations.
Together they provided unprecedented detail of the nova process, which will lead to improved future research on the role of shockwaves in powerful cosmic events.
This news was brought to you in part by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD