When imagining a nuclear explosion, we often picture strong, spherical shock waves, like a bomb or supernova; however, nature’s most common thermonuclear explosions look nothing like this, showing delayed and multiple phases of mass ejection that can last for months after the nuclear fuel is ignited. These most common explosions are novae—thermonuclear runaways on the surfaces of accreting white dwarfs—and their complexities are best revealed with an intensive multi-wavelength observational program highlighting radio and X-ray data. I will discuss our recent results from just such a program, featuring observations from the newly-upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, spotlighting recent novae that have been detected in gamma rays with Fermi, and revealing the truly astounding diversity of mass ejection in novae. The implications for Type Ia supernova progenitors will also be discussed.
Laura Chomiuk (Michigan State U)
February 07, 2014
14:00 - 15:00