White Dwarf Explosions: A New Gamma Source

August 1, 2014 4:02 PM

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White Dwarf Explosions: A New Gamma Source

Astrophysicists have recently identified a new source of high-energy gamma ray emissions using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Stellar explosions, called novae, have been found to release a surprising amount of gamma radiation, showing just how little we know about these rays.

A nova (not to be confused with a supernova) is a short-lived thermonuclear explosion that occurs on the surfaces of white dwarf stars - bright and hot stars that are generally no bigger than Earth. Novas have been known to release more energy than 100,000 times the annual energy output of the Sun. ...

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