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Scientists discover a cosmic vampire

Fortunately, we found binoculars to find them.

Earth's brilliant blue exploded from the Earth, indicating that the supernova had reached the temperature in billions of degrees.

"It's," said Dr. Brad Tucker, "a very, very massive event."

Tucker, an astronomer at the Australian National University, was part of a team of 130 international scientists who spent months studying data and images of a star explosion captured by binoculars around the world.

Supernova, among the most powerful explosions in the galaxy, are extremely rare. Astronomers knew it could have been due to the fact that two white dwarves – ancient superheavy stars that depleted fuel and were pressed by gravity to the size of our planet – slammed each other.

ANU astronomical professor Dr Brad Tucker.

ANU astronomical professor Dr Brad Tucker.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

But they suspected there was another trigger. The only white dwarf could move another, younger star, taking my material away. At some point, the white dwarf could gain so much of it that he could not support himself.

And then it was theoretical that it would explode.

This white dwarf it seems that fate confirms this theory, Dr Tucker said.

Just like a nuclear bomb, the supernova caused a huge shock wave that crawled through space before the explosion itself.

Through their telescopes, astronomers noticed that the shock wave hit the neighboring star of the white dwarf. The shock wave was strong enough to push her out of the way, "says Dr. Tucker.

"It does not cause the other star to blow up, but it will revert."

Scientists will use a death star record to study how supernovae form and ignite. There are many unanswered questions, says Dr. Tucker.

The finding is published on Saturday in 2008 Astrophysical Journal Letters and Astrophysical Journal.

Liam is Fairfax Media's scientific reporter

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