The code is red. Massive stars warn they will soon explode into supernovae

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Code red. Massive stars warn that they will soon explode into supernovae

According to a new study, it's easy enough to know that a supernova will appear very soon.

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When huge stars are already at the end of their life cycle, they become red supergiants. And death for such stars comes as a result of a supernova explosion, when a star throws all its matter into space and turns into tiny objects – either neutron stars or stellar-mass black holes. Scientists from Liverpool's John Moores University and the University of Montpellier have unveiled their new study in which they claim they know how to capture when a star is about to explodeAt Focus. Technology has its own Telegram channel. Subscribe for the latest and most exciting news from the world of science!

It can be said that a group of astronomers has created an “early warning system” to predict the explosion of huge stars. Namely, the moment when the red supergiant will disappear as a result of a supernova explosion.

Scientists have created simulations and found that red supergiants, which are mostly between 8 and 20 times the mass of the Sun, suddenly lose their brightness just before a cosmic catastrophe.

Code red. Massive stars warn they will explode soon into supernovae

Code Red . Massive stars warn that they will soon explode into supernovae

To be more precise, these stars are 100 times less visible in visible light in the months before their death. Scientists believe that such a decrease in the brightness of the star is due to the fact that in a very short time these stars are enveloped in a veil of matter that has already been ejected from the star. It is this cover that reduces the brightness of the stars.

Until the new study, astronomers didn't know exactly how long it takes for a star that ends its life to accumulate around itself this substance, which is a direct signal for an imminent explosion. But as part of their scientific work, a group of astronomers for the first time was able to create a model of the behavior of red supergiants shrouded in ejected matter.

Code red. Massive stars warn that they will soon explode into supernovae

Code red. Massive stars warn they will soon explode into supernovae

“We used old images of similar stars that exploded in a supernova a year later. In these images, red supergiants look like they should look. This means that their cover has not yet formed. Thus, we came to the conclusion that this veil is formed in less a period of time, that is, less than a year, which is incredibly fast,” says Benjamin Davies of Liverpool John Moores University.

According to scientists, this dense cover most likely forms just a few months before death stars. At this time, he closes it very much, and the star becomes too dim for observations in visible light.

“The day before the explosion, nothing will be visible at all in place of the star, as if it were not there. Until now we could see a supernova when the explosion happened just a few hours before, but now we can watch dying stars in real time, meaning we can see the explosion itself as the star disappears,” says Davis.

As Focus already wrote, astronomers have discovered a record flux of radiation in space, which appeared as a result of a huge explosion. The source of radiation has not yet been determined, then scientists are inclined to believe that it was still a supernova explosion.