The nova outburst of U Scorpii observed in 20103D ModelNoAI
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. An animation of this 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.