Latest White dwarf Stories

2010-02-17 12:00:00

WASHINGTON, Feb 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New findings from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have provided a major advance in understanding a type of supernova critical for studying the dark energy that astronomers think pervades the universe. The results show mergers of two dense stellar remnants are the likely cause of many of the supernovae that have been used to measure the accelerated expansion of the universe. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) These...

2010-01-14 15:08:08

Researchers of the University of Granada have conducted the most complete worldwide analysis of the chemical composition and evolutionary state of a spectral type R carbon star. The presence of carbon is essential for the possible development of life in the Universe, and therefore explaining its origin is of vital importance. What are the peculiar type-R stars made? Where does the carbon present in their shell come from? These are the questions to be solved by a research work conducted by...

2009-12-16 09:05:45

A team of Chinese astronomers have discovered a giant planet close to the exotic binary star system QS Virginis. Although dormant now, in the future the two stars will one day erupt in a violent nova outburst. Professor Shengbang Qian of Yunnan Observatory leads the team of scientists who report their work in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. QS Virginis lies in the direction of the constellation of Virgo and is about 157 light years from the Sun. The system is...

2009-12-02 14:36:14

But not the last, now that astronomers know where to look An extraordinarily bright, extraordinarily long-lasting supernova named SN 2007bi, snagged in a search by a robotic telescope, turns out to be the first example of the kind of stars that first populated the Universe. The superbright supernova occurred in a nearby dwarf galaxy, a kind of galaxy that's common but has been little studied until now, and the unusual supernova could be the first of many such events soon to be discovered. SN...

2009-11-17 08:20:00

Astronomers find prime suspect for a Type Ia supernova Using ESO's Very Large Telescope and its ability to obtain images as sharp as if taken from space, astronomers have made the first time-lapse movie of a rather unusual shell ejected by a "vampire star", which in November 2000 underwent an outburst after gulping down part of its companion's matter. This enabled astronomers to determine the distance and intrinsic brightness of the outbursting object. It appears that this double star system...

2009-11-16 11:40:00

The constellation of Orion is a hotbed of massive star formation, most prominently in the Great Nebula that sits in Orion's sword.  The glowing gas of the Nebula is powered by a group of young massive stars, but behind it is a cluster of younger stars and clumps of gas. Still gathering together under gravity's pull, these gas clumps will eventually ignite into stars. The youthful cluster cannot be seen with traditional telescopes because of the surrounding gas and dust, but a new...

2009-11-12 14:19:47

Astrophysicists find 2 Earth-sized bodies with oxygen rich atmospheres - only snag is they're stars not planets Astrophysicists at the University of Warwick and Kiel University have discovered two earth sized bodies with oxygen rich atmospheres "“ however there is a bit of a disappointing snag for anyone looking for a potential home for alien life, or even a future home for ourselves, as they are not planets but are actually two unusual white dwarf stars. The two white dwarf stars SDSS...

2009-11-05 13:35:00

A new class of supernova was discovered by scientists at Berkeley and may be the first example of a new type of exploding star. A team of astrophysicists at UC Santa Barbara had predicted this kind of explosion in their theoretical work. Lars Bildsten, professor at UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP), and colleagues, predicted a new type of supernova in distant galaxies that would be fainter than most and would rise and fall in brightness in only a few weeks. The discovery,...

2009-11-05 09:45:27

Cataclysmic variable stars This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics publishes a somewhat unusual research article because it is co-authored by German high-school students. Led by astronomer Klaus Beuermann (University of Göttingen, Germany), the team [1] involves a secondary school physics teacher, three students from two high schools in Göttingen [2], and three professional astronomers. The team made use of a remotely-controlled 1.2-meter telescope in Texas [3], funded by the...

2009-09-22 15:25:00

The precise conditions inside a white dwarf star in the hours leading up to its explosive end as a Type Ia supernova are one of the mysteries confronting astrophysicists studying these massive stellar explosions. But now, a team of researchers, composed of three applied mathematicians at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and two astrophysicists, has created the first full-star simulation of the hours preceding the largest thermonuclear explosions in...

Latest White dwarf Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:43

White Dwarf -- A white dwarf is a a star supported by electron degeneracy. A star like our Sun will become a white dwarf when it has exhausted its nuclear fuel. Near the end of its nuclear burning stage, such a star goes through a red giant phase and then expels most of its outer material (creating a planetary nebula) until only the hot (T > 100,000 K) core remains, which then settles down to become a young white dwarf. A typical white dwarf is half as massive as the Sun, yet only...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Stellar Evolution -- Stellar evolution is the process of formation, life, and death of stars. It is one of the major topics of cosmogony. Star Birth and Life A star starts out as an enormous cloud of gas and dust many light-years across. Star formation begins when the cloud begins to condense under its own gravity. The processes that initiate this contraction are not fully understood. The cloud fragments fuse into stellar mass clouds known as protostars. Protostars do not emit...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Nova -- A nova is an enormous nuclear explosion caused by the accretion of hydrogen onto the surface of a white dwarf star. When a white dwarf has a close companion star, the companion will often begin to have its outer atmosphere drawn away from it by the white dwarf's gravity as the companion star ages and expands into a red giant. The gases so captured consist primarily of hydrogen and helium, the two principle constituents of matter in the universe. The gases are compacted on the...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Cataclysmic Variable Star -- Cataclysmic variables are a class of binary stars containing a white dwarf and a companion star. The companion star is usually a red dwarf, although in some cases it is another white dwarf or a slightly evolved star (subgiant). Several hundreds of cataclysmic variables are known. From the observational viewpoint, cataclysmic variables are relatively easy to discover. They are usually quite blue objects, as the majority of stars are red. The variability of...

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Word of the Day
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'