Scientists Detect Ia Supernovas X-Rays for the First Time

University of Chicago scholars and others have made an exciting discovery this month in the form of type Ia supernovas X-rays. These supernovas are created when a white dwarf star undergoes a thermonuclear explosion. Ia supernovas are liked by astronomers because they burn at a specific brightness, allowing them to calculate just how far from us they are accurate.

But, there are still many things we don’t know about this supernova, and a few years ago scientists noticed they had a strange optical signature that led them to believe there was a dense cloak of circumstellar material surrounding them. This kind of material isn’t usually seen in this type of supernova. Normally, only type II supernovae have this dense material, and it’s usually created when stars begin to lose their mass. The lost mass gathers around the star until it collapses, sending an explosive shockwave of dense materials hurtling through the universe displayed as a shower of X-rays. But, despite this, the UChicago-led team still managed to record these X-rays coming from an Ia supernova using the Chandra X-ray Observatory[…]

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