Astronomers make EXPLOSIVE new discovery with what they are calling Micronovas

Astronomers make EXPLOSIVE new discovery with what they are calling Micronovas

The latest scientific discovery by astronomers brings to light a previously unknown phenomenon known as Micronovas.

Durham University led an international team of researchers to the incredible discovery as they observed the phenomenon in three white dwarfs, which are the remnants of dead stars. The researchers discovered the unusual space phenomenon now known as micronovas when they noticed a bright flash of light lasting for a short time while carrying out analysis on data recovered from Nasa’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

A micronova is a blast that has a duration of only a few hours, making observation of the phenomenon extremely difficult. The short lasting explosions are located on the surface area of certain stars and rapidly burn through large amounts of material which astronomers claim to be equivalent to roughly 3.5 billion Great Pyramid of Giza, as reported by The PA news agency.

Lead author Dr Simone Scaringi, at the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Durham University, stated:

“We have discovered and identified for the first time what we are calling a micronova. The phenomenon challenges our understanding of how thermonuclear explosions in stars occur. We thought we knew this, but this discovery proposes a totally new way to achieve them. It just goes to show how dynamic the universe is. These events may actually be quite common, but because they are so fast they are difficult to catch in action.”

Scaringi describes that “micronovas, like classic novas, are the result of thermonuclear runaway. That is, the build-up of material on the surface of the white dwarf to temperatures and pressures high enough to ignite. When this happens, the fresh fuel burns, converting hydrogen to helium in the process.”


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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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