One of the types of stellar explosions is the so-called new stars. The explosion occurs in a two-star system white dwarf, and the other is an ordinary star – the so-called main sequence star (the Sun belongs to this category, for example) or at a slightly later stage of development. The white dwarf steals matter from its companion, mostly hydrogen. After some time, on the surface of a white dwarf Conditions that lead to a thermonuclear explosion are created. We notice the star’s brightness noticeably, even for weeks, some material is being thrown away, but the binary is still there.

Astronomers distinguish the category of the so-called neoclassical. However, recent observations indicate that there are also explosions with a similar mechanism, but on a much smaller scale. They are called microns because the energy released is a million times smaller than the neoclassical energy. The brightness of the star in microns also lasts for a shorter period (several hours), while the thermonuclear explosion itself does not cover the entire surface of the white dwarf, and instead occurs locally, in some regions.

Scientists discover mysterious minute explosions while analyzing data from NASA Transiting a satellite to survey the outer planets (he-goat). Three microns are detected. For example, these systems were previously known to contain white dwarfs, and for the third, observations from the VLT telescope were needed to confirm the white dwarf’s state.

Micron explosions can occur in white dwarfs with strong magnetic fields. The material is pulled toward and around the star’s magnetic poles Hydrogen fuses with helium. Microns present a challenge to current starburst models. They are probably more common than previously thought, but due to the speed of the phenomenon, they are difficult to catch in action.

Another possible explanation for the observed eruptions could be star flares, also known by observing the sun. Flares occur not due to thermonuclear interaction, but the so-called magnetic reconnection (a set of processes related to rapid changes in the magnetic field system). However, this possibility has been ruled out because even the strongest known bursts are four to five orders of magnitude less energetic than micron bursts.

Although the name suggests something small, the micron explosion itself is very large. It burns out within a few hours 20 trillion kilograms of materials, equivalent to 3.5 billion Khufu Pyramids.

The search results were presented in two publications. One appeared in Nature and the other was accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The authors include, among others Jean-Pierre LasotaHe works at the Nicolaus Copernicus PAS Astronomy Center in Warsaw, the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS and the Sorbonne universities in France and Christian Ekevich from Durham University, UK.

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