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Zombie Star

from BGR

Astronomers struggle to explain ‘zombie star’ that keeps exploding but won’t die

by Mike Wehner

Image Source: ESO

We humans like to pretend we know a lot about space and the various objects that we’ve observed in it, but at the end of the day we find ourselves scratching our heads more often than not. The latest and perhaps best example of this is a star called iPTF14hls, which keeps exploding but refuses to actually die, like some sort of stellar zombie. Isn’t space awesome?

Typically, when a star explodes in a supernova, it’s a sign that the star is progressing in its life cycle, erupting in a firestorm that decimates everything in its path and ultimately results in either a burnt out blob of incredibly dense matter, a neutron star, or even a black hole. iPTF14hls refuses to do any of those things, and has instead decided to just keep exploding over and over again.

In a new research paper published in Nature, scientists reveal their observations of the peculiar star, and do everything in their power to explain how this could even be possible. The researchers explain that a supernova of the star was observed way back in 1954, at which point science would have us believe that it was about to move past that stage and enter whatever comes next, but that’s not what happened.

[ click to continue reading at BGR ]

Posted on November 8, 2017 by Editor

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