It turned out that quadruple stars can trigger supernova explosions

Quadruple star system discovered in 2017 and recently observed at Mount John Observatory

University of Canterbury, can provoke thermonuclear supernova explosions. The results of the study by an international team of astronomers are published by Nature Astronomy.

Rare double binary (total quadruple) stellarThe HD74438 system was discovered in the constellation Velas in 2017 by the Gaia-ESO survey, which characterized more than 100,000 stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Subsequent observations of HD 74438 were made infor several years to accurately track the orbits of stars in a quadruple star system. The observations were made with high-resolution spectrographs at the Mount John Observatory of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the South African Large Telescope in South Africa.

Astronomers have determined that this stellar quadrupleconsists of four gravitationally bound stars: a short-period binary orbits another short-period binary with a longer orbital period (2+2 configuration).

Quadruple system is a member of the youngopen star cluster IC 2391, which makes it the youngest (only 43 million years) spectroscopic quartet discovered to date in the Milky Way, and among the quad systems with the shortest outer orbital period (six years).

A new study has shown that gravitationalthe effects of the outer binary change the orbits of the inner binary, causing it to become more eccentric. Current simulations of the future evolution of this system show that such gravitational dynamics could lead to one or more collisions and merger events producing evolved dead stars (white dwarfs) with masses just below the Chandrasekhar limit. Recall that this is the upper mass limit at which a star can exist as a white dwarf. If the mass of a star exceeds this limit, then it becomes a neutron star. The existence of the limit was proved by the Indian astrophysicist Subramanyan Chandrasekhar.

According to a new study, as a resultmass transfer or merger these white dwarfs can produce a thermonuclear supernova explosion. For example, lead to the appearance of subchandrasekhar type Ia supernovae.

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