- outer space August 7
Astronomers believe that, using the Hubble Space Telescope, they have spotted a rare zombie star 110 million light years away.
When a Type Ia supernova takes place, it usually destroys the exploding white star, but in the case of the smaller and dimmer Type Iax supernova, a small portion of the dwarf star isn't obliterated, leaving behind the zombie star.
"Astronomers have been searching for decades for the star systems that produce Type Ia supernova explosions," Rutgers scientist Saurabh Jha said in a NASA statement:
Type Ia's are important because they're used to measure vast cosmic distances and the expansion of the universe.... The similarities between Type Iax's and normal Type Ia's make understanding Type Iax progenitors important, especially because no Type Ia progenitor has been conclusively identified. This discovery shows us one way that you can get a white dwarf explosion. [NASA]
The astronomers would like their findings to lead to understanding of the relationship between Type Iax and Type Ia supernovae and their star systems.- - Catherine Garcia
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What is driving the increasingly weird behavior of the polar jet stream?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Christians have no moral rationale for spanking their children
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Should you hope to die at 75? Absolutely not.
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Why America should team up with Bashar al-Assad's regime
- Stop hating on cyclists
Subscribe to the Week