A team of astronomers has discovered a new cosmic phenomenon – micron lightning

Astronomers have discovered a new type of star flame – “micron”. They are millions and billions of times weaker than “novas” and “supernovae”, last only a couple of hours and release as much energy as the sun would produce in a year.

“When we examined astronomical data collected by the NASA TESS telescope, we discovered something unusual: a strong flash of light in the optical field that lasted for several hours. When we looked further, we found several similar signals,” said Nathalie Degenaar, an employee at University of Amsterdam.

Every form of shooting star is a huge phenomenon that releases huge kilojoule of energy. Earth telescopes can observe them and fix an increase in the brightness of celestial bodies by several orders of magnitude. Similar events occur in binary systems when one of the stars begins to attract and accumulate companions on its surface. Over time, she accumulates too many resources and flashes “new”. This process is a constant cycle of life for a binary system.

Some stars throw their outer shells into space in a powerful explosion – a “supernova”. They are divided into “kilos”, the processes of merging two neutron stars and “hypernova”, the explosion of a cosmic body after the collapse of the nucleus. For a long time, the scientific community believed that astronomers described all cosmic expulsion processes within the framework of “new” and “supernovae”, but the discovery in 2022 added to the change of classification. “Micron” appeared

By astronomical standards, these processes are considered “micro”, as they release a million times less energy than even the usual “nova”, but these are still powerful emissions that have a significant impact on the lives of cosmic bodies.

For the first time, the “micron” was noticed by a group of astronomers from the international coalition, who analyzed data from the TESS space telescope with ultra-long range. A total of three similar events were discovered, which were then verified by observations of the VLT (literally “very large telescope”). In all cases, “microns” appeared in binary systems with a white dwarf.

Scientists suggest that the star with a new type of flare draws matter from the upper layers of the companion. Then the white dwarf distributes it over its entire surface. The process is similar to the birth of “novae” and “supernovae”, but the biggest difference is that the fusion and flare-up are located near the magnetic poles of a certain white dwarf with a strong magnetic field.

After the scientific community recognized the discovery as a new discovery, astronomers published an article with research results in the journal Nature. The researchers added that this phenomenon challenges the understanding of how thermonuclear explosions occur in stars.

Daniil Mogilnikov for Moi-portal.ru

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