Some of the most powerful events happening in the entire universe are Supernovae. These are ridiculously strong, energetic, light-giving explosions that are able to light up the entire sky. Scientists think that they understand how these work and have already categorized the supernovae. They are either white dwarfs that can draw gas from a companion, thus triggering a runaway fusion, or they are the end state for massive stars, which actually explode once they reach the end of their lives. Well, things are changing in astrophysics as well, as it seems that scientists have identified a third type of supernova.
The Wandering Star
In the Milky Way, there is a white dwarf that is just speeding around. Astronomers believe that it went through a partial supernova. In the Hubble Space Telescope, proof was found by a team of researchers led by astronomers affiliated with the University of Warwick that the star exists.
The Groundbreaking Study
In a study called “The partially burned remnant of a low-mass white dwarf that underwent thermonuclear ignition?”, the findings of the scientists are presented. Professor Boris Gaeniscke, the lead author of the paper and an astronomer affiliated with the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick, has published the paper in The Monthly, belonging to the Royal Astronomical Society. It would appear that the discovery of this special phenomenon is based, in part, on the peculiar spectroscopic measurements of a white dwarf using the Hubble.
The Unusual White Dwarf
White dwarfs are most certainly not unusual. It is believed that this is the fate that our own Sun will face at some point. That will happen after it leaves its main sequence, becoming a red giant, then a white dwarf. Thing is, this newly discovered white dwarf is extremely different, from a spectroscopical point of view, from most other white dwarfs out there. The atmosphere of this white dwarf contains neither helium nor hydrogen, instead containing sodium, carbon and aluminum.