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Evolution of 2010 nova outburst of U Scorpii 3D Model
A nova is a star that suddenly increases its light by orders of magnitudes and then fades away to its former luminosity in a few months. The phenomenon is due to a thermonuclear explosion which occurs on the surface of a white dwarf star and which ejects stellar material into the circumstellar medium. U Scorpii in the constellation of Scorpius is a binary system composed by a red giant star and a white dwarf. Its latest nova outburst has been observed on 2010 January 28. The model is the result of a three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation exploring the first 18 hr of the outburst. A static higher resolution model is visible here. The red giant is visible at the center of the scene; the white dwarf (where the explosion occurs) is too small to be visible. The material ejected during the outburst is marked in white-blue. Reference: Drake & Orlando 2010, ApJL 720, L195. Credits: INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo.