Understanding Stellar Explosions Is Less Straightforward Than Previously Thought

Thursday, April 30, 2009 - 07:22 in Physics & Chemistry

Stellar explosions called nova are caused by nuclear reactions between the star's atoms. In order to better understand such violent phenomena, astrophysicists study the radiation emitted by certain types of atom, and in particular the fluorine-18 produced by these reactions. Now, researchers have determined that fluorine-18 appears to be less abundant than expected. This discovery therefore reduces the chances of observing the radiation emitted by this atom.

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