Milky Way Updates: The HD 74438 quad system was discovered in 2017. It consists of a pair of stars orbiting each other while also orbiting another pair of stars close by.
HIGHLIGHTS Milky Way
- This galaxy has numerous multi-star systems, the majority of which are binary.
- HD 74438 is the newest of the quad systems, dating back barely 43 million years.
Our solar system has only one star. However, this isn’t true for all star systems in the Milky Way, the galaxy in which our solar system resides. This galaxy contains multiple multi-star systems. While the majority of these are binary systems with two stars, there are a few that have more. The last step in the life of a big star, when it erupts into a bright stellar explosion, is referred to as a supernova. Because supernova explosions have far-reaching consequences for the entire cosmos, astronomers are always on the lookout for them.
A team of researchers has discovered that a quadruple star system known as HD 74438 could represent a new channel for thermonuclear supernova explosions in the universe as part of that endeavour.
The HD 74438 quad system was discovered in 2017. It consists of a pair of stars orbiting each other while simultaneously orbiting another pair of stars (2+2). Following research, it was discovered that HD 74438 is the newest of all such systems, dating back barely 43 million years. This quadruple is made up of four gravitationally connected stars, according to astronomers at the University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand.
They found that the gravitational impacts of the outer binary system are modifying the orbits of the inner binary, making it more eccentric, in a study published in the journal Nature Astronomy. As a result, the researchers attempted to simulate future star orbits. They discovered that such gravitational dynamics can result in one or more collisions and merging events, resulting in evolved white dwarfs with masses slightly below the Chandrasekhar limit. As a result, a thermonuclear supernova could result from these white dwarfs.
This limit is the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf star and is named after Indian-born scientist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. The Chandrasekhar limit is now estimated to be around 1.4 solar masses.