Indian astronomers trace rare supernova explosion to hottest kind of stars

• Indian astronomers have tracked a rare supernova explosion and traced it to one of the hottest kind of stars called Wolf-Rayet stars (WR stars).

About:

• The supernova is called SN 2015dj and is hosted in the galaxy NGC 7371.

• Massive stars which are at an advanced stage of stellar evolution and losing mass at a very high rate are known as WR stars.

• They have masses typically greater than 25 times that of the Sun and have brief lifetimes and are therefore quite rare objects.

• Estimates suggest that Milky Way may contain between 1,000 and 2,000 WR stars, majority hidden by dust.
• They have luminosities of up to a million times that of Sun.

• Supernovae are highly energetic explosions in the Universe releasing an enormous amount of energy.

• Supernova is caused by merging of binary star systems (two stars that orbit the same point) or at the end of a single star’s lifetime.

• Long-term monitoring of these open the door to understand the nature of the exploding star as well as the explosion properties.

• It can also help enumerate the number of massive stars.

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Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech

Prelims level: Supernova explosion

Mains level: Read the newsfeed

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