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Latest White dwarf Stories

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2006-03-15 12:45:00

Hubble -- For the first time, astronomers have succeeded in weighing a binary pair of brown dwarfs and precisely measuring their diameters. These kinds of exact measurements are not possible when observing a single brown dwarf. Because their orbits are inclined edge-on to Earth, the dwarfs pass in front of each other, creating eclipses. This is the first brown dwarf-eclipsing binary ever discovered. The pair offers an unusual opportunity for accurately determining the masses and diameters of...

2006-02-07 17:15:00

Scientists have made the astonishing discovery that sound might drive supernovae explosions. Their computer simulations say that dying stars pulse at audible frequencies -- for instance, at about the F-note above middle C -- for a split second before they blow up. Researchers in the 1960s began using computer models to test ideas about what, exactly, causes stars to explode. But mathematical simulations have so far failed to satisfactorily explain the inner workings of nature's most...

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2006-01-12 06:25:00

NOAO -- In a feat resembling an intergalactic autopsy, astronomers have used the Gemini South telescope in Chile to obtain a detailed spectrum of an echo of light from an ancient supernova that enables them to identify the original star's cause of death. Beyond confirming that the team's basic interpretation of the light echo was correct, the spectrum suggests strongly that the explosion was a Type-Ia supernova that originated with a compact white dwarf star in the Large Magellanic Cloud....

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2006-01-11 07:25:00

NOAO -- New Spitzer Space Telescope observations of an unusual class of interacting binary stars detected excess amounts of infrared radiation, suggesting that these odd objects are surrounded by large disks of cool dust. The results reported today in Washington, DC, at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) were produced by one of six teams of professional astronomers and high school teachers participating in a unique program co-sponsored by the Spitzer Science Center...

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2005-12-02 12:42:10

Fort Davis, TEXAS -- After 31 years of tracking the light- output of a burnt-out star from telescopes at McDonald Observatory, astronomer S.O. Kepler of Brazil's Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and a slew of University of Texas colleagues have found the most stable optical clock in the heavens. The finding has implications for theories of how stars live and die, and places limits on where planets can exist around this white dwarf. Their results are being published in today's...

2005-09-09 18:35:00

Astronomers have glimpsed dusty debris around an essentially dead star where gravity and radiation should have long ago removed any sign of dust -- a discovery that may provide insights into our own solar system's eventual demise several billion years from now. The results are based on mid-infrared observations made with the Gemini 8-meter Frederick C. Gillett Telescope (Gemini North) on Hawaii's Mauna Kea. The Gemini observations reveal a surprisingly high abundance of dust orbiting an...

2005-08-27 09:50:00

AAVSO -- Amateur astronomers are being asked to help a constellation of observatories unravel the mysteries of a puzzling binary star system. On August 30-August 31, 2005 two space-based and four professional ground-based observatories are scheduled to observe the cataclysmic variable star AE Aqr. Each of the observatories covers a different wavelength of light and amateur astronomers have been asked to help cover the visible-light portion. "This observing campaign will take place over...

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2005-08-01 15:00:00

NASA -- Amidst the glitter of billions of stars in the majestic spiral galaxy called the Whirlpool (M51), a massive star abruptly ends its life in a brilliant flash of light. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped images of the exploding star, called Supernova (SN) 2005cs, 12 days after its discovery. Astronomers then compared those photos with Hubble images of the same region before the supernova blast to pinpoint the progenitor star (the star that exploded). The color image at left shows a...

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2005-04-29 08:10:44

NASA -- For the first time an X-ray image of a pair of interacting stars has been made by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The ability to distinguish between the interacting stars - one a highly evolved giant star and the other likely a white dwarf - allowed a team of scientists to observe an X-ray outburst from the giant star and find evidence that a bridge of hot matter is streaming between the two stars. "Before this observation it was assumed that all the X-rays came from a hot disk...

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2005-04-18 18:57:14

LANL -- A University of California scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory working with astronomers from around the world recently validated a computer model that predicts the rebirth and stellar burning and mixing processes of evolved stars. The discovery is a leap forward in our understanding of how stars like the sun evolve through violent outbursts during their evolution. In research published recently in the journal Science, Laboratory astrophysicist Falk Herwig and his colleagues...


Latest White dwarf Reference Libraries

6_c21be0ecb1b565a9be109a383c38223f2
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...

6_dac4e7d6b8fb5cf3a1458d796b90d7a92
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...

6_19859ff34fd03d00777232e2520ce83f4
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...

6_f1577ee462b741c03ef6a7d23d2cd6904
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
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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