Scientists Discovered A Star Exploding Every Year

Indira Datta - Apr 30, 2019

Scientists Discovered A Star Exploding Every Year

Scientists have discovered a star in the Andromeda Galaxy that explodes every year — the first of its kind in the known universe.

A new study recently discovered a star located in the Andromeda Galaxy which explodes annually. In a press release, Allen Shafter, an astrophysicist from San Diego State University, said:


A typical example of nova remnants

Shafter and his colleagues report on the strange star in a publishment in the journal Nature.

According to the study, the annual explosion of the M31N 2008-12a is influenced by another star nearby. It takes in hydrogen from this neighboring star. When the hydrogen reaches the surface of the M31N 2008-12a, it gets heated and compressed. The hydrogen then transforms into helium. That is why an explosion happens since this whole process releases a great amount of energy. And it is repeated once a year. The continuous explosions of this star have created a surplus that stretches over 400 light-years across.

Astronomers believe that this star is about to go through a supernova explosion. This explosion will destroy itself. It will give scientists the opportunity to study the activities causing a supernova.

Supernova Head 640x353
A supernova explosion

While darkness is one of the biggest obstacles that make it difficult for people to study more about the universe, a supernova can help us solve this problem. Because the explosion will produce a huge amount of light to help us map what we can see in the universe with an extremely high accuracy of distance. This is an opportunity for people to study and understand more about the development and change of the universe over time. Even so, researchers have not been able to determine the origin of the stars.

Currently, Shafter's research team is focusing on determining whether super-remnants like the M31N 2008-12a happen randomly or under some kind of rules. If they really follow the rules or appear commonly, then the likelihood of us detecting and following them will be improved in the future.


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