Death Stars:  Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts

“Since T Pyxidis stopped its repeated supernova explosions, the last one being in 1967, we really are puzzled about why its cycle of thermonuclear explosions has not continued.”

 - Edward M. Sion, Ph.D.,
Prof. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Villanova University

 

January 14, 2010  Radnor, Pennsylvania, and Lawrence, Kansas - The January 5, 2010, issue of Scientific American, headlined an article about a “Supernova star too close for comfort” to Earth. The subject was a binary white dwarf named T Pyxidis (T denotes scale of brightness) rapidly rotating around a companion star at about 1,000 parsecs from Earth. A thousand parsecs is equal to 3,260 light-years.

 

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