Binary star system with potential to cause Kilonova explosion discovered, reveals study | Tech News

Binary star system with potential to cause Kilonova explosion discovered, reveals study

A recent study has revealed a binary star system which could result in the formation of Neutron stars, and ultimately a Kilonova.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 03 2023, 11:34 IST
Sickening! From light to darkness, DEATH of a star is the birth of a Black Hole!
Binary star system
1/5 What is a Black Hole? According to NASA, a black hole is an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. A black hole’s “surface,” called its event horizon, defines the boundary where the velocity needed to escape exceeds the speed of light, which is the speed limit of the cosmos. Matter and radiation fall in, but they can’t get out. (NASA)
Binary star system
2/5 Classes of black holes: Two main classes of black holes have been extensively observed. Stellar-mass black holes with three to dozens of times the Sun’s mass are spread throughout our Milky Way galaxy, while supermassive monsters weighing 100,000 to billions of solar masses are found in the centers of most big galaxies, ours included. (AP)
Binary star system
3/5 How are black holes birthed? A stellar-mass black hole formation happens when a star with more than 20 solar masses exhausts the nuclear fuel in its core and collapses under its own weight. The collapse triggers a supernova explosion that blows off the star’s outer layers. But if the crushed core contains more than about three times the Sun’s mass, no known force can stop its collapse and the birth of of a black hole. The origin of supermassive black holes is poorly understood, but we know they exist from the very earliest days of a galaxy’s lifetime. Once born, black holes can grow by accreting matter that falls into them, including gas stripped from neighboring stars and even other black holes. (NASA)
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4/5 First image of black hole: In 2019, astronomers using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — an international collaboration that networked eight ground-based radio telescopes into a single Earth-size dish — captured an image of a black hole for the first time. It appears as a dark circle silhouetted by an orbiting disk of hot, glowing matter. The supermassive black hole is located at the heart of a galaxy called M87, located about 55 million light-years away, and weighs more than 6 billion solar masses. Its event horizon extends so far it could encompass much of our solar system out to well beyond the planets. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)
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5/5 Studying black holes: Astronomers have been studying black holes through the various forms of light they emit for decades. Although light can’t escape a black hole’s event horizon, the enormous tidal forces in its vicinity cause nearby matter to heat up to millions of degrees and emit radio waves and X-rays. Some of the material orbiting even closer to the event horizon may be hurled out, forming jets of particles moving near the speed of light that emit radio, X-rays and gamma rays. Jets from supermassive black holes can extend hundreds of thousands of light-years into space. NASA’s Hubble, Chandra, Swift, NuSTAR, and NICER space telescopes, as well as other missions, continue to take the measure of black holes and their environments. (NASA)
Binary star system
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The binary star system is located about 11,400 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Puppis. (NASA)

In an astonishing development, astronomers have identified an extremely rare binary star system which has all the right conditions to trigger a Kilonova explosion one day. Stars are celestial objects millions of years old floating in space. The age, distribution, and composition of the stars in a galaxy trace the history, dynamics, and evolution of that galaxy. When stars die, most of them do so in a spectacular fashion as the explosion which proceeds it is a sight to see. However, some of them can also go out without causing any fireworks.

Astronomers have recently identified the remnant of one such neutron star called SGR 0755-2933 which went out without causing any substantial explosions. According to the research, the star is located about 11,400 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Puppis. Astronomers have revealed that the star died quietly due to it transferring high amounts of mass to its companion star, thus, leaving behind a remnant known as a Neutron Star.

According to the research, this neutron star could one day collide with its binary companion star to cause a Kilonova, a powerful event which occurs when 2 neutron stars merge. André-Nicolas Chené, co-author of the study and an astronomer at the National Science Foundation's NOIRLab research center said,” For quite some time, astronomers speculated about the exact conditions that could eventually lead to a Kilonova. These new results demonstrate that, in at least some cases, two sibling neutron stars can merge when one of them was created without a classical supernova explosion.”

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How do stars die?

Although most stars live for billions of years, it is known that the bigger the star, the shorter its lifespan. Stars are fueled by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen to form helium deep in their interiors. When all the hydrogen in its core has been fused, the nuclear reactions stop. As a result, the core of the star begins to collapse under its own weight. The expanding core pushes the outer layers outward, causing them to expand and cool. Thus, the star becomes a red giant.

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First Published Date: 03 Feb, 11:18 IST
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