Lead author Dr Simone Scaringi, in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Durham University, said: 'We have discovered and identified for the first time what we are calling a micronova.
The excess material is ejected out towards the poles of the star and a disc of gas and dust is formed around the star, forming a proto-star.
Advertisement An international team of researchers, led by Durham University, observed the phenomenon in three white dwarfs — the remnants of dead stars — as they fed in each case on a companion star.
Throughout history there are numerous accounts of new stars being seen by astronomers which we now call novae.
These explosions take place on the surface of certain stars and can quickly burn through huge amounts of material — equivalent to 3.
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At this point, when the region is about 900 billion miles across, it becomes a pre-stellar core and the starting process of becoming a star.