Latest White dwarf Stories

2010-05-22 07:45:08

The finding sheds light on some universal mysteries, including the possibility that exploding stars created some of the matter that makes up our bodies. Not all explosions are created equal "“ it's as true for film effects as it is for stars. An international team of scientists, including a University of Arizona astronomer, has identified a third type of exploding star, or supernova. Until now, scientists had only observed two kinds of supernovae "“ either hot, young giants that...

2010-05-19 13:32:35

In the past decade, robotic telescopes have turned astronomers' attention to scads of strange exploding stars, one-offs that may or may not point to new and unusual physics. But supernova (SN) 2005E, discovered five years ago by the University of California, Berkeley's Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT), is one of eight known "calcium-rich supernovae" that seem to stand out as horses of a different color. "With the sheer numbers of supernovae we're detecting, we're discovering weird...

2010-05-19 08:20:00

Astrophysicists at UC Santa Barbara are the first scientists to identify two white dwarf stars in an eclipsing binary system, allowing for the first direct radius measurement of a rare white dwarf composed of pure helium. The results will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. These observations are the first to confirm a theory about a certain type of white dwarf star. The story began with observations by Justin Steinfadt, a UCSB physics graduate student who has been monitoring...

2010-04-13 08:01:30

An international team of astronomers have discovered compelling evidence that rocky planets are commonplace in our Galaxy. Leicester University scientist and lead researcher Dr Jay Farihi surveyed white dwarfs, the compact remnants of stars that were once like our Sun, and found that many show signs of contamination by heavier elements and possibly even water, improving the prospects for extraterrestrial life. On Tuesday April 13th Dr Farihi will present his results at the RAS National...

2010-03-15 14:05:00

An international team led by Yale University has, for the first time, measured the mass of a type of supernova thought to belong to a unique subclass and confirmed that it surpasses what was believed to be an upper mass limit. Their findings, which appear online and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal, could affect the way cosmologists measure the expansion of the universe. Cosmologists use Type Ia supernovae"”the violent explosions of dead cores of stars...

2010-02-17 12:45:00

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. These supernovae, called Type 1a, serve as cosmic mile markers to measure expansion of the universe because they can be...

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...

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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