Manchester/Warwick - I vant to drink your gas

November 26, 2009

Astronomers from the universities of Manchester and Warwick have uncovered the secrets of a "vampire star" that feeds on its companion sun. Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, the astronomers made a time-lapse film of matter ejected by the vampire star. The sun in the constellation Puppis, known as V445, absorbed gas from its neighbour, which caused it to undergo a nova explosion, becoming 250 times brighter than before and ejecting a large quantity of matter into space. From the findings published in the Astrophysical Journal, it appears that the binary system is a prime candidate for creating a "Type Ia" supernova, an event key to studies of the mysteries of dark energy.

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