Professor Lilia Ferrario helping to solve the mystery of exploding stars

White dwarf and giant star binary system

Professor Ferrario has been involved in a study to solve the mystery of what causes exploding stars.

The study - made in collaboration with researchers from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the United States and Canada -  has found that a small star hurtling through our Galaxy is highly likely to be a piece of shrapnel from a huge explosion that happened millions of years ago, which could help measure the accelerating expansion of the Universe. 

“What triggers these supernovae explosions is uncertain,” said Professor Ferrario “This discovery gives weight to a theory that a white dwarf star devours material from its giant star companion until the white dwarf explodes as a supernova.”

For more information please read the ANU media release, 'Scientists help solve mystery of what causes exploding stars'.

Read the article 'An unusual white dwarf star may be a surviving remnant of a subluminous Type Ia supernova'.

Watch a video interview with Professor Ferrario and a simulation of the supernova explosion that caused the remnant star.

Listen to Professor Ferrario's ABC interview