Rare Star That Explodes Repeatedly Generates Powerful Gamma Rays

Rare Star That Explodes Repeatedly Generates Powerful Gamma Rays
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If we would expose all the reasons why the Universe is a strange place, we will never finish. But just in case you need another reason to believe that the Cosmos is indeed a strange place, you must know that stars exist that repeatedly explode and generate powerful gamma rays.

Astronomers found evidence of the existence of such a star, according to ScienceAlert.com. Furthermore, they believe that the binary system known as RS Ophiuchi, which is located 4,566 light-years away, is sending shock waves into space that can behave as a particle accelerator that produces gamma radiation.

Could supernovae be powerful particle accelerators?

If you believe that the Large Hadron Collider is a particle accelerator that’s powerful enough, you would surely be amazed at what a supernova can do.

Ruslan Konno, an astrophysicist from the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) from Germany and the HESS Collaboration, explained:

The observation that the theoretical limit for particle acceleration can actually be reached in genuine cosmic shock waves has enormous implications for astrophysics. It suggests that the acceleration process could be just as efficient in their much more extreme relatives, supernovae.

The RS Ophiuchi binary star is also a recurrent nova, making it a very rare cosmic object: it explodes from time to time, creating novae.

Gamma rays are the same as gamma radiation, meaning a penetrating form of electromagnetic radiation that arises from the atomic nuclei being exposed to radioactive decay. In nuclear explosions, gamma rays get emitted during the fission of atomic nuclei.

A French physicist and chemist known by the name of Paul Villard discovered gamma rays way back in 1900. He achieved it while looking at how radiation emitted by radium behaves.

The new research was published in Science.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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