Star Caught Exploding out of Hibernation – new discovery of Polish astronomers

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Astronomers from the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw have discovered an extremely interesting nova. The results of the study have been published in the latest issue of the prestigious scientific journal NATURE. The co-authors of the publication include many laureates of FNP programmes.

The basis for the discovery were accurate observations carried out between 2003–2016 under a large-scale sky survey programme supervised by Prof. Andrzej Udalski (OGLE project).

“Our study is a breakthrough in learning about the mechanisms that lead to gigantic explosions in space”, says Prof. Andrzej Udalski.

“The publication in Nature is also exceptional for other, non-scientific reasons. This is the first ‘purely Polish’ research paper in Nature in over 20 years, created exclusively in a Polish institution, without cooperation with foreign scientists or participation in large international collaborative projects,” Prof. Udalski explains. “I must also emphasise that the first author of the paper and the person who made key contribution to the published results is a very young scientist, my doctoral student after the first year of doctoral studies in the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw – Przemysław Mróz. I believe he is the youngest Polish first author of a paper published in Nature,” Prof. Udalski adds.

The authors of the publication entitled The awakening of a classical nova from hibernation are: Przemek Mróz, Andrzej Udalski (laureate of the FNP Prize, as well as the Master/Mistrz and SUBIN programmes), Paweł Pietrukowicz (START laureate), Michał K. Szymański, Igor Soszyński (laureate of the REINTEGRATION/HOMING programme), Łukasz Wyrzykowski, Radosław Poleski (laureate of the START programme), Szymon Kozłowski, Jan Skowron, Krzysztof Ulaczyk, Dorota Skowron and Michał Pawlak.

Detailed information about the discovery are available here and on the PAP Science&Scholarship in Poland website (in Polish).



Drawing: Artistic vision of the V1213 Centauri system. Source: Krzysztof Ulaczyk / Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw