"Every galaxy has its own pinnacle of weirdness. For Verpletter, the pinnacle is Cireasei. That's why we're going there to learn more about this local oddity." - Bolmer Serdousa, who came up with the concept of Operation Abuna.
Cireasei is an anomalous substellar object located near the core of the Verpletter Galaxy. It is most famously known for two violent and bright eruptions, which, until recently, did not have a describable cause. Cireasei has garnered interstellar fame, and currently has many viewing locations.
Cireasei was born around 150 million years ago as a brown dwarf, likely a class L brown dwarf at the time of its eruption. Cireasei was created with perhaps 5-6 planets, but it is almost impossible to tell due to their disappearance (Likely attributed to past explosions). It was likely part of the Great Nipso Cloud (A fabled emission nebula that existed around 165 - 145 million years ago) at the time of its formation.
It was discovered by the VM-SEC (Verpletter Mapping & Survey Exploration Committee) in 95488 CE, thus giving it the alternate designation VM-SEC J051058.48-434628.21 (Shortened to V-J051043). Cireasei was documented as a possible brown dwarf. Its planetary system was also thoroughly searched, giving Cireasei four minor and desertic planets.
Resulting from the immense amount of objects catalogued by VM-SEC, surveyors soon moved on to the Verplettan core. However, this would be uprooted as remaining surveying teams later discovered something much more anomalous under its surface.
In 99526 CE, a bright flash was observed from the exact direction of Cireasei. It was observable mainly in infrared and visible light, but some radiation was also emitted in other wavelengths. Upon closer analysis, it was revealed that an unknown object (later dubbed VA-J051043) had crashed into Cireasei. In response to the collision, Cireasei expanded to around 250 times the size of Sol, and flared up to nearly 150000000 Kelvin in temperature. It also insanely increased in luminosity (Becoming nearly 2.8*10²² solar luminosities and briefly outshining the entire Verpletter galaxy, and most galaxies in existence), quickly vaporizing any planets that might have been there.
This brightness lasted only hours, as it rapidly dimmed. A few hours after the bright flash, the remaining part of Cireasei (which was still intact) slowly fell in on itself. A month after the eruption, Cireasei was only about 1/10 the size of the sun, and cooled to around a mK. The superheated cloud of gas that Cireasei had generated slowly dissipated and became undetectable after ~2.8 years. At first, scientists were stupendously confused, due to the fact that at first, no astronomical event they could come up with could reproduce such observations.
It was at this time when matters became even more confusing. Scientists observed that it contained a substantial amount of metals, which comprised about 79% of its bulk, which indicated that VA-J051043 should have been made of metals. They also noticed that it had lost most of its mass, going from 62 Jupiter masses to 27 Jupiter masses. For around five years, Cireasei stayed at that stage, being around 1000 times brighter than the sun. It acted similar to a WR-Class star, losing quite some mass (~4 Jupiter masses). In 99560 CE, Cireasei erupted again.
Cireasei erupted for a second time, losing 2 Jupiter masses in the process. The second explosion was more like a tiny type Ia supernova, as another object, probably a small planetoid, crashed into the star. The eruption made it lose around 95% of its remaining hydrogen. It also shrank Cireasei fourfold and decreased its temperature to a measly 1153.5 K. At this point, the scientists studying it decided to give it a name, so they called it Cireasei. They also released their findings in a paper, which got galaxy-wide attention. This attention was because up to then, the eruptions were associated with an urban legend.
Currently, Cireasei is a small 'frozen star,' a rare kind of star very rich in metals. It is one of only four found in Verpletter, and also the least massive and the hottest. It also has a small accretion disk made up of comets that lost their orbits during Cireasei's first eruption, due to being slowed down by the large expanding cloud of gas Cireasei emitted during the first eruption.
Due to VA-J051043 being rich in many rare elements, Cireasei has an overabundance of lanthanides and actinides. These make up about 3% of Cireasei's composition.
Operation Abuna was an initiative and later a mission by the Xavier Protectorate to launch a probe to explore Cireasei. The probe entered the drawing board in 199,795 CE and launched in 99,818 CE. It reached Cireasei in 199,918 CE, 82 years ago.
Project Jerpfan, named after it's grand architect, Culusoow Jerpfan, is an onging colonization project that began in 99,936CE. The project works in tandem with Operation Abuna, and is focused on the settling of the asteroids that surround Cireasei. The project became considered vital due to rival Factions seeking to claim the star due to various internal political reasons, and the need for defense systems to protect it.
Right now the project has only been subject to constructed star bases and stations and a couple hundred colonized asteroids - Slow going for the Xavier Protectorate. This is in part due to the violent nature of the star, causing major construction and infrastructure issues.
There are roughly three million people who are semi-permanent residents of the system - Mostly infrastructure and engineering specialists who rotate back to more secure regions within the Xavier Protectorate after a certain period of time. Settlers range in the 1.2 million range, primarily working as researchers, studying the effects of the Cireasei star. Many of these settlers are workers for Operation Abuna.
What actually happened
A study from 199945 CE appears to finally settle the arguments over what really happened with Cireasei. The study suggests that Cireasei in fact underwent a long helium flash. This means that when Cireasei collided with VA-J051043, the collision speed forced Cireasei's core to heat up to the extent that it briefly started to fuse helium. The entire star heated up to hundreds of mK and immediately vapourised all planets in the immediate vicinity of it. As a result of it being so hot, it basically exploded, ballooning from around 75,000 km in radius to over 150 million km in radius. This resulted in it brightening in over 65 magnitudes, sterilising nearby star systems (all life that once existed in a ~100 light year radius is now gone).
Soon the fusion stopped, and it fell on itself. The cloud of superheated plasma travelled away from the shrinking Cireasei, and faded away in a couple of years.
The second eruption was caused by the same mechanism, but significantly less powerful, as the object was only an asteroid-sized object.
Significant safety measures are now present in the vicinity of the anomalous star to prevent anymore eruptions.