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Hubble Space Telescope Just Uncovered A Fascinating Discovery
When a star approaches the end of its life and runs out of fuel, it detonates in an enormous explosion called a supernova. The Hubble Space Telescope has recently been studying a star, 2013ge, that survived its companion star going supernova, in the hope that astronomers will learn about what happens to a star’s outermost layer, which is composed of hydrogen.
Sometimes, after a supernova, there is no evidence of hydrogen at all, which makes researchers wonder what happened to it. By studying 2013ge, the researchers could test the theory that this star had siphoned the hydrogen off its companion before it went supernova. This was something that had been theorized to happen but had never before been observed.
One of the researchers, Maria Drout of the University of Toronto, said, "So much of studying cosmic explosions is like forensic science — searching for clues and seeing what theories match. Thanks to Hubble, we are able to see this directly." In time, 2013ge will likely end up sharing its partner's fate and going supernova itself.