Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, General Astronomy, Stars > Hubble Maps 3-D Structure Of Ejected Material Around Erupting Star

Hubble Maps 3-D Structure Of Ejected Material Around Erupting Star


A flash of light from a stellar outburst has been used to probe for the first time the 3-D structure of material ejected by an erupting nova.

Astronomers used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to observe the light emitted by the close double-star system T Pyxidis, or T Pyx, a recurrent nova, during its latest outburst in April 2011. Contrary to some predictions, the astronomers were somewhat surprised to find that the ejecta from earlier outbursts stayed in the vicinity of the star and formed a disk of debris around the nova. The discovery suggests that material continues expanding outward along the system’s orbital plane, but it does not escape the system.

“We fully expected this to be a spherical shell,” says Arlin Crotts of Columbia University in New York City, a member of the research team. “This observation shows that it is a disk, and it is populated with fast-moving ejecta from previous outbursts.”

Full Story: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2013/21/full/

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