Alasdair Wilkins writes on io9.com:
A white dwarf 3,260 light-years from Earth — mere walking distance in cosmic terms — looks like it could go supernova. And that stellar explosion would have dire consequences for our planet, not to mention our possible descendants.
Located in the binary system T Pyxidis, the white dwarf in question was originally thought to be far more distant from our solar system. Although three thousand light-years might sound like a fairly safe distance away from a potential supernova, it really is quite close by astronomical standards. To put it in some perspective, the diameter of the Milky Way, at roughly 100,000 light-years wide, is multiple orders of magnitude greater than what we’re talking about here.
The huge white dwarf in the T Pyxidis system is known as a recurrent nova because it undergoes relatively minor eruptions at regular intervals. Small nova explosions have been observed every twenty years for over a century, although the last recorded nova burst was in 1967. Astronomers are unsure why the star is overdue.
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