Feeds

True fact: Hubble telescope spots ZOMBIES in SPACE

Dwarf stars survive supernovae (a trick we may need in a few billion years)

Security for virtualized datacentres

Researchers operating the Hubble telescope have observed an unusual supernova explosion that leaves behind what scientists call a "zombie star".

NASA said a team of astronomers had used the giant orbital telescope to capture images of a star system that, despite going supernova, produces surviving dwarf stars rather than obliterating everything involved.

Hubble spotted the supernova in galaxy NGC 1309 some 110 million light years from Earth. Following the event over a period of years, researchers found that in the aftermath of the explosion part of a dwarf star could be observed.

According to NASA, such "Type Iax" explosions are smaller and not as bright as the more common Type Ia explosions. While a Typ Ia explosion will destroy the star, bodies involved in the Iax explosion could survive on as partial dwarf or "zombie" stars in which the hydrogen has been blown away to expose a helium core.

The dwarf stars could help researchers to understand how supernova explosions occur by providing evidence to probe and ponder. NASA said astronomers have identified more than 30 such explosions.

"Type Ia’s are important because they're used to measure vast cosmic distances and the expansion of the universe. But we have very few constraints on how any white dwarf explodes," said Rutgers University researcher Saurabh Jha.

"The similarities between Type Iax's and normal Type Ia's make understanding Type Iax progenitors important, especially because no Type Ia progenitor has been conclusively identified."

The group is going to publish more data on their findings this week in the journal Nature. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Hardened Hydrazine the source of Galileo satnav FAIL
Russian aerospace firm's kit fails on 46th mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.