A new study argues that a strange white dwarf careening across the Milky Galaxy may have been propelled by a partial supernova. White dwarfs are small and cool cores of dead stars, which form when stars with an average size run out of fuel.
The Sun and up to 90% of all he stars in the Milky Way will share the same fate, becoming white dwarfs at some point. Research has revealed that the cores of white dwarfs are rich in carbon and oxygen and are surrounded by a layer of helium and one of hydrogen.
Pursuing new data
During a new study, a team of researchers focused on a white dwarf known as SDSS J1240+6710, which is located at a distance of 1,430 light-years away from Earth. The white dwarf was spotted in 2015, and previous research inferred that it contains a bizarre mix of oxygen, magnesium, silicon, and neon.
The scientist employed the Hubble Space Telescope to take a better look at the object and have observed that there are traces of carbon, aluminum and sodium in its atmosphere. As such, this white dwarf is unlike anything that has been spotted in the past.
Another fascinating trait is represented that the white dwarf travels at a speed of 560,000 miles per hour (or approximately 900,000 kilometers per hour)in the opposite direction in which the galaxy is moving. It also has a surprisingly low mass, as it only reaches 40% of our Sun.
It Is theorized that the unusual traits of the white dwarf could be explained by a partial supernova, with the weaker thermonuclear explosion, which propelled the remains of the star into the void. All of the unusual elements could have formed during the first stage of a supernova event.
The study has been published in a scientific journal.