A new system that warns when a star is about to explode and turn into a supernova

A new system that warns when a star is about to explode and turn into a supernova

A team of researchers assessed some of the characteristics of a star on the verge of a supernova explosion and developed a warning system to determine when that would happen.

Astronomers from the University of Liverpool, John Moors and the University of Montpellier, have developed a warning system that a massive star is about to end its life with an explosion of supernova, and researchers have determined that massive stars in the last phase of their lives, a phase of red superhygante, will suddenly become about a hundred times cloudy in visible light, and this blackout could be caused by the sudden accumulation of material around the star that eclipses its light.

Red superhygant phase

The Red Supergiant Star

Although the surface temperature is low and "disappears" in interstellar space.

The phase of the red supergiant is relatively "short" and lasts from several hundred thousand years to several million. Then the most massive stars evolve into the stars of Wolf Rayet and the rest die in the form of supernovas. Betelgeise and Antares, two very bright stars in the constellation of Orion and Scorpion, respectively, are red superhygants.

Know when a supernova comes

Shortly before the explosion, supernova red supergiant is exposed to a very intense star wind, encircling it with a kind of cocoon from a material that was thrown out of a star or from an interstellar environment around it.

According to a new study based on the archival data of several telescopes, the material cluster darkens the star in the optical telescope field 100 times more than its normal brightness, Benjamin Davis of the University of Liverpool, John Moors, the lead author, said, ""

In addition, this cocoon will be collected in less than a year, which is very fast compared to the millions of years that the supergiant phase lasts. With this information, researchers have built a warning system that will help them detect star explosions, so they hope to be able to observe supernovas in real time, direct the world ' s best telescopes to primordial stars and study their catastrophic final explosion.