Re: Yahoo! News Story - The Star That Everyone Missed - Yahoo! News
- V598 Puppis
27 Cancer 20.
I think I'll call this Read-Saxton Star.
Mark A. Holmes
> --- In email@example.com, Mark Andrew Holmeshttp://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20080722/sc_space/thestarthateveryonemissed
> <mahtezcatpoc@> wrote:
> > Mark Andrew Holmes (mahtezcatpoc@) has sent you a news article.
> > (Email address has not been verified.)
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > Personal message:
> > The Star That Everyone Missed - Yahoo! News
> The Star That Everyone Missed
> Space.com Staff
> SPACE.com Tue Jul 22, 7:02 AM ET
> An orbiting X-ray observatory has discovered an exploding star in the
> Milky Way which somehow escaped notice by the usual crowd of star
> Calculations show that the star's sudden brightness was clearly
> visible to the naked eye, but no one reported anything until the
> European Space Agency's XMM-Newton telescope spotted an unexpected
> burst of cosmic X-rays.
> On Oct. 9, 2007, XMM-Newton was turning from one target to another
> when it passed across a bright source of X-rays that no one was
> expecting. The source was not listed in any previous X-ray catalog,
> yet the mysterious object was lighting up XMM-Newton's view of the
> The XMM-Newton team looked up three possible celestial candidates as
> at this location, including a normally faint star known only by its
> catalog number USNO-A2.0 0450-03360039. Acting quickly, Andy Read of
> the University of Leicester and Richard Saxton of ESA's European Space
> Astronomy Centre (ESAC), Spain, e-mailed other astronomers about the
> newly-discovered X-ray source.
> More sleuthing
> Astronomers turned to the 6.5-meter Magellan-Clay telescope at Las
> Campanas Observatory in Chile, and found that USNO-A2.0 0450-03360039
> had become 600 times brighter than normal. Analyzing the light from
> the source meant that they could classify the object as a nova.
> Novae occur when a small, compact star, called a white dwarf, feeds
> off the gas of a nearby companion star. Gas builds up on the white
> dwarf until a nuclear reaction begins releasing large quantities of
> energy, causing the white dwarf to explode in brightness.
> That led to a puzzle. An explosion of this type does not immediately
> release X-rays, because the expanding cloud of debris created in the
> detonation temporarily masks them. That meant the explosion must have
> taken place many days before XMM-Newton spotted the X-ray burst,
> although no one reported seeing it.
> Amateur and professional astronomers usually find novae by regularly
> sweeping the night sky for stars or other objects that suddenly
> brighten but humans are not alone in watching the sky. Saxton
> contacted the robotic All Sky Automated Survey project and asked
> astronomers to check their data. They found the nova had taken place
> on June 5, 2007, and had been clearly visible, and that it would have
> been bright enough to see with the unaided eye. "Anyone who went
> outside that night and looked towards the constellation of Puppis
> would have seen it," Saxton says.
> Still tracking The nova has now received the official name of V598
> Puppis and has become one of the brightest for almost a decade,
> despite not getting spotted during its brilliant peak. As news of its
> existence spread, the global effort to track its fading light became
> "Suddenly there was all this data being collected about the star,"
> Read says. "For variable star work like this, the contribution of the
> amateur community can be at least as important as that from the
> This story has a happy ending thanks to XMM-Newton, which has covered
> 30 percent of the sky and documented 7,700 X-ray sources. However, the
> event does make astronomers wonder whether there are other discoveries
> going unnoticed.