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White dwarves will explode like nuclear weapons upon death

The explosion of white dwarves in space would be similar to the explosion of nuclear weapons when stars die in supernovae. A new study shows that this powerful explosion is the origin of the supernova type.

After the discovery A region of the Milky Way full of stars is said to be about to eruptResearchers have made an important new discovery. On death, a white dwarf detonates in the same way as a blast The atomic bomb on Earth. As a reminder, the white dwarf is an extremely dense aging star. It is the core that remains after an ordinary star consumes its fuel and loses its outer layers. In our galaxy, 90% of stars, Including the sun, will eventually become white dwarves.

White dwarf – Credit: WikiImages / Pixabay

When a white dwarf reaches its maximum mass, it explodes in it Supernova. Compared to the nova, the explosion is tens of thousands of times more powerful. A new study by researchers indicates that white dwarves and nuclear weapons have a similar explosion.

The explosion of the white dwarf is very similar to that of an atomic bomb

Study co-author Charles Horowitz, a nuclear astrophysicist at Indiana University, explained: The conditions for building and detonating the atomic bomb seemed very difficult – I was surprised that these conditions could be fulfilled naturally inside an extremely dense white dwarf. Last year, astronomers claimed so, tooA thermonuclear supernova released a white dwarf star into the Milky Way Instead of destroying it.

According to researchers’ calculations and simulations, A large mass of uranium It crystallizes from a mixture of elements in a cold white dwarf. Uranium can then explode Nuclear fission chain reaction. Therefore, the researchers demonstrated that the heat and pressure of the core at this time could be responsible for stimulating the fusion of the lighter elements. It could be for example Carbon or oxygen. Then this trigger leads the supernova. In fact, researchers at the University of Illinois explained it last yearThe supernova caused a mass extinction 359 million years ago.

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Finally, this new discovery will allow us to learn more about it Thermonuclear supernovae It is also called a supernova type. As Charles Horowitz said, the process described above could explain the origin of about half of the thermonuclear supernovae. From now on, it will create the researchers New computer simulations In order to determine whether the chain reactions of nuclear fission are indeed the origin of the initiation of fusion, then of the type la supernova.

Source : Live Science