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Fri Mar 31, 2017, 07:43 AM

Astronomers search through supernova remnants for 'stellar survivor'

March 30 (UPI) -- NASA on Thursday said astronomers are using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the remnants of a supernova explosion, which could lead to the discovery of a "stellar survivor."

The astronomers used the Hubble to analyze supernova remnant SNR 0509-68.7, also known as N103B, which is about 160,000 light-years away from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy neighboring the Milky Way.

In a statement, the Space Telescope Science Institute said that of all varieties of exploding stars, Type Ia -- from which N103B occurred -- is "the most intriguing."

"Their predictable brightness lets astronomers measure the expansion of the universe, which led to the discovery of dark energy. Yet the cause of these supernovae remains a mystery. Do they happen when two white dwarf stars collide? Or does a single white dwarf gorge on gases stolen from a companion star until bursting?" the STSI said in a press release. "If the second theory is true, the normal star should survive."

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2017/03/30/Astronomers-search-through-supernova-remnants-for-stellar-survivor/8821490893211/?st_rec=2691490884341

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