Latest White dwarf Stories

2011-04-07 08:50:00

White dwarfs are dead stars that pack a Sun's-worth of matter into an Earth-sized ball. Astronomers have just discovered an amazing pair of white dwarfs whirling around each other once every 39 minutes. This is the shortest-period pair of white dwarfs now known. Moreover, in a few million years they will collide and merge to create a single star. "These stars have already lived a full life. When they merge, they'll essentially be 'reborn' and enjoy a second life," said Smithsonian astronomer...

2011-03-31 07:20:00

Planet hunters have found hundreds of planets outside the solar system in the last decade, though it is unclear whether even one might be habitable. But it could be that the best place to look for planets that can support life is around dim, dying stars called white dwarfs. In a new paper published online Tuesday in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Eric Agol, a University of Washington associate professor of astronomy, suggests that potentially habitable planets orbiting white dwarfs could...

2011-03-24 13:10:00

Pattern of X-ray 'stripes' in supernova remnant could explain how cosmic rays are produced The discovery of a pattern of X-ray "stripes" in the remains of an exploded star may provide the first direct evidence that a cosmic event can accelerate particles to energies a hundred times higher than achieved by the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth. This result comes from a very long observation of the Tycho supernova remnant with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. It could explain how...

2011-03-10 08:45:00

Cardiff University astronomers believe that a young star's long "napping" could trigger the formation of a second generation of smaller stars and planets orbiting around it. It has long been suspected that the buildup of material onto young stars is not continuous but happens in episodic events, resulting in short outbursts of energy from these stars. However, this has been largely ignored in models of star formation. Now, by developing advanced computer models to simulate the behavior of...

2011-01-14 10:14:27

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the UK's voice for professional astronomers and geophysicists today announced the recipients of the Society's medals and awards for 2011. The prizes honor individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to astronomy (here designated "ËœA') and geophysics ("ËœG') and will be given out at the 2011 National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2011) to be held in Llandudno, Wales, in April. Professor Roger Davies, President of the Royal...

2010-12-06 12:21:52

Astronomers have traced the waxing and waning light of exploding stars more closely than ever before and seen patterns that aren't yet accounted for in our current understanding of how these eruptions occur. Using data from a sensitive instrument aboard a satellite that images the entire sky every 102 minutes, they studied four of these stars, or novae, that exploded so violently their light would have been visible without a telescope and measured their brightness over the course of the...

2010-12-02 20:39:28

Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) play an important role as cosmological distance indicators and have been used successfully to determine cosmological parameters, which resulted in the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. However, the exact nature of SN Ia progenitors is still not well understood. There is a popular theory that SNe Ia originate from runaway thermonuclear events in carbon"“oxygen white dwarves (CO WD) in binary systems. The CO WD accretes material from its...

2010-11-23 08:00:00

An international team of astronomers have discovered a unique and exotic star system with a very cool methane-rich (or T-) dwarf star and a "Ëœdying' white dwarf stellar remnant in orbit around each other. The system is a "ËœRosetta Stone' for T-dwarf stars, giving scientists the first good handle on their mass and age. The team, led by Dr Avril Day-Jones of the Universidad de Chile and including Dr David Pinfield of the University of Hertfordshire as well as astronomers...

2010-11-16 10:31:47

Sometimes when you're looking for one thing, you find something completely different and unexpected. In the scientific endeavor, such serendipity can lead to new discoveries. Today, researchers who found the first hypervelocity stars escaping the Milky Way announced that their search also turned up a dozen double-star systems. Half of those are merging and might explode as supernovae in the astronomically near future. All of the newfound binary stars consist of two white dwarfs. A white dwarf...

2010-10-28 10:20:24

Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered the most massive neutron star yet found, a discovery with strong and wide-ranging impacts across several fields of physics and astrophysics. "This neutron star is twice as massive as our Sun. This is surprising, and that much mass means that several theoretical models for the internal composition of neutron stars now are ruled out," said Paul Demorest, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory...

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
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.