A dangerous event might take place in the close future in the Milky Way. A star which is 8000 light years away from our planet is on the verge of a major supernova explosion. This could lead to a gamma-ray explosion, the first one of the Milky Way.
The star has been named “God of chaos” and it could create a dangerous energetic event. For those who do not know what a gamma-ray burst is, it is a combination of gas and dust, with a wind that can reach 12 million km/ph. After the Big Bang, this would be the second most extreme energetic event.
The Australian team of researchers
The scientists who discovered this are from the University of Sydney, and they used the Anglo-Australian Telescope, and the Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert, Chile, with the help of researchers at the University of Edinburgh, University of Sheffield and the University of New South Wales. You can read all their findings published in the “Nature Astronomy” journal, the latest version. This rare star is part of a system that contains another star. The system is called Apep, after the Egyptian serpentine.
The two stars orbit each other every hundred hears. However, just one of the stars appears to be on the brick of a gamma-ray burst. If this happens, it could destroy the ozone from Earth’s atmosphere.
Scientists tell us not to panic yet, as the star does not appear to be aimed at our planet. However, they also added that they “can’t be certain what the future has in store”, so we might not be that far from a catastrophic event.
“The system might slow down enough so it explodes as a normal supernova rather than a gamma-ray burst. However, in the meantime, it is providing astronomers a ringside seat into beautiful and dangerous physics that we have not seen before in our galaxy,” explained Professor Peter Tuthill, the leader of the research.