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New stellar explosion revealed by Kepler

27 Mar 2018, 14:07 UTC
New stellar explosion revealed by Kepler
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This explosion will only last for a matter of days, which is brief when compared to a normal supernova explosion that lasts weeks. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Stellar explosions are a powerful and visually spectacular sight, but there is one type that has confused astronomers for the past decade because of its extremely abrupt duration. Astronomers have continuously tried to understand the true nature of Fast-Evolving Luminous Transients (FELTs), but now, thanks to NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, it has been revealed that this is a new kind of supernova that gets a brief turbo boost in brightness from its surroundings.
Kepler’s main task is to hunt down planets orbiting different stars within our galaxy. For this recent study about FELTs, Kepler used its abilities to precisely examine the sudden changes in starlight from FELTs and come to one accurate conclusion.
Astronomers have announced that this unusual light variation was the result of a star collapsing and eventually exploding as a supernova. The major difference between FELTs and other supernovae is that the star is cocooned inside one or more shells of gas and dust. When the initial shockwave from the supernova explosion hits the first surrounding layer of material, most of ...

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