Polish Astronomer Johannes Hevelius, who was also a renowned politician, is one of the few individuals to have reported the sighting of Nova Vulpeculae 1670, a star in the Cygnus constellation. For those who don’t know: the name of the star was derived from the year of its discovery and its origin.
The star was discovered in the year 1670, and6 astronomers believe that it was formed due to a nova explosion.
However, a recently conducted study is suggesting something different; the new study has come up with a new story about the origin of Nova Vulpeculae 1670. Scientists carrying out the study used the most advanced and accurate telescopes and found evidence which suggests that Nova Vulpeculae was formed due to a collision between two stars.
This new discovery by astronomers was reported in the March 23 edition of the famous science journal Nature.
People could view Nova Vulpeculae 1670 easily in naked eyes in 1670. The following years saw the star disappearing and reappearing twice before it disappeared completely.
During the new study, astronomers representing the European Southern Observatory studied the area in Cygnus that once housed the star. The chemical composition of that place didn’t indicate occurrence of a nova.
Instead, the astronomers came to know that the dim nebula that currently occupies the place that once had the Nova Vulpeculae 1670 was formed due to a collision between two stars. The place still has the physical remnants of the two stars in the form of dust.
The brightness seen by astronomers in 1670 resulted from a colossal explosion that took place due to the collision between two stars.
When two stars come very close to each other, their massive gravitation force starts pulling them towards each other. This triggers collision and results in gargantuan thermonuclear explosion, an event that leads to destruction of the colliding stars. A gargantuan thermonuclear explosion produces different kinds of solar radiation including visible light.
In 1670, astronomers didn’t have enough knowledge and equipment to understand the difference between death of stars and birth of a star. What’s surprising is that it took scientists so many years to prove the experts of the 17th century wrong.