Home » News & Blogs » Ancient Nova Sell around Z Camelopardalis
Bookmark and Share
Beyond Earthly Skies

Ancient Nova Sell around Z Camelopardalis

15 Oct 2013, 10:00 UTC
Ancient Nova Sell around Z Camelopardalis
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Z Camelopardalis is a dwarf nova located at a distance of about 530 light years. It consists of a white dwarf accreting hydrogen-rich matter from a companion red dwarf star. The accreted matter forms an accretion disk around the white dwarf where instability in the accretion disk causes it to episodically dump much of itself onto the white dwarf. The hydrogen-rich matter gradually accumulates on the white dwarf’s surface. Each dump liberates a large amount of gravitational potential energy and causes Z Camelopardalis to brighten by up to a factor of 40. This process repeats itself every 20 days or so.Figure 1: Artist’s concept of Z Camelopardalis, a stellar system featuring a white dwarf accreting hydrogen-rich matter from a companion star. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.It is predicted that white dwarfs like Z Camelopardalis will eventually accumulate sufficient hydrogen-rich matter to undergo classical nova eruptions. During a classical nova, the accumulated hydrogen-rich matter on the white dwarf ignites and fuses hydrogen into other heavier elements in a thermonuclear runaway process. The surface of the white dwarf explodes and creates clearly visible shells of ejected material in the aftermath. A classical nova is thousands of times more luminous than a dwarf nova.In January 2004, ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod