A fireball explosion of a white dwarf

3D illustration and animation for the journal NATURE

When stars like our Sun use up all their fuel, they shrink to form white dwarfs. Sometimes such dead stars flare back to life in a super hot explosion and produce a fireball of X-ray radiation. A research team led by FAU has now been able to observe such an explosion of X-ray light for the very first time. Ole König from the Astronomical Institute at FAU in the Dr. Karl Remeis observatory in Bamberg has published an article about this observation in the reputable journal Nature, together with Prof. Dr. Jörn Wilms and a research team from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, the University of Tübingen, the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona und the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam.

I designed the cover image and 3D animation showing a time series of the original eROSITA data and illustrates the explosion. LInk to the scientific paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04635-y

Cover 12 May 2022 CORE Kopie