Dwarf stars discovered on collision course

February 9, 2015 9:46 PM

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One of our favorite telescopes in the world - the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), has aided in spotting a couple of stars set to collide. At the center of the planetary nebula Henize 2-428, two stars orbit one another. These two planetary bodies are both dwarf stars drawing ever-nearer to each other, eventually set to touch and create one massive explosion. A thermonuclear explosion, that is to say, with a Type "la" supernova to follow. Sadly, none of us living today will be around to see this event, as it'll take place some 700 years from now.

A team lead by Miguel Santander-García, Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, Alcalá de Henares, Spain; Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (CSIC), Madrid, Spain, has observed this close pair of stars. A team of astronomers using ESO facilities have teamed with telescopes in the Canary Islands...

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