|Will this dawn bring another nova?
Such dilemmas might be pondered one day by
living on a planet orbiting a
binary star system.
Cataclysmic variables involve gas falling from a large star onto an
accretion disk surrounding a massive but compact
white dwarf star.
Explosive cataclysmic events such as a
can occur when a clump of gas in the interior of the
heats up past a certain temperature.
At that point, the clump will fall more quickly onto the
white dwarf and land with a
Such dwarf novas will not destroy either star, and may occur irregularly on time scales from a few days to tens of years.
Although a nova is much less energetic than a supernova, if
recurrent novas are not
violent enough to expel more gas than is falling in,
mass will accumulate onto the white dwarf star until it passes its
At that point, a foreground cave may provide little protection,
as the entire white dwarf star will explode in a
Credit & Copyright:
Mark A. Garlick