News of the WeekAstrophysics

Astronomers Spot Their First Carbon Bomb

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Science  17 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5495, pp. 1279
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5495.1279

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HONOLULU-- Carbon on the surface of an ultradense star detonated in a 3-hour thermonuclear explosion, according to a report at a meeting here last week of the American Astronomical Society's High Energy Astrophysics Division. If confirmed, the burst would be the first known cosmic explosion fueled solely by carbon rather than hydrogen or helium and could verify or revise models of carbon combustion.