Back in time with a cos­mic hour­glass

All About Space - - Launch Pad -

The hour­glass-shaped rem­nant of CK Vulpec­u­lae, first ob­served on 20 June 1670 by French monk and as­tronomer An­thelme Voi­turet, has been a mys­tery for cen­turies, but now astronomers be­lieve they’ve found an an­swer to its ori­gins.

CK Vulpec­u­lae was orig­i­nally thought to be a nova, which is the con­tin­u­ous ex­plo­sive be­hav­iour ob­served by two close stars in a bi­nary sys­tem. Now, by us­ing the Ata­cama Large Mil­lime­ter/sub­mil­lime­ter Ar­ray (ALMA) to study the de­bris, it is thought to be the merger of a brown dwarf and white dwarf star.

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