a’StarburstWhat’s called newIt was discovered in practice thanks to the instruments of the Virtual Telescope Project located in Manciano, in the province of Grosseto, which can boast the darkest and most starry skies on the Italian continent. The virtual telescope, led by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, observed the explosion on the evening of October 1 in the Andromeda Galaxy, the big sister of the Milky Way Galaxy, about two million light-years from Earth.
A nova is an explosion caused by excitation The violent nuclear fusion reaction that occurs after gas accumulates around a white dwarfIt is the final evolutionary stage for stars similar to the Sun. The energy released by these interactions produces an extraordinary increase in brightness tens of thousands of times: so it seems ‘A new star.’ They appear in the sky, hence the old name for these phenomena.
The new explosion, which was discovered on October 1, was identified by comparing it to an image of the same galaxy obtained a week earlier, in which the nova was not visible. This discovery was not accidental: in fact, since the beginning of last August, the virtual telescope has begun to continuously monitor the two large galaxies closest to us: Andromeda and the Triangle Galaxy.
The quality of the sky of the place, Manciano, located in Grosseto Maremma, was also decisive in this result: the absence of light pollution in this area allows the techniques used to capture even the most elusive celestial objects, which from other places would not be visible at all. In fact, the skies of Manciano are now the champion of an awareness initiative on their safety in terms of light pollution, to preserve the last truly starry and easily accessible oasis in Italy.
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