This variable white dwarf pulsates as expected, but it also experiences very bright outbursts. Today’s paper takes us through the discovery and verification of the second pulsating white dwarf with outbursts, and speculates how the pulsations and outbursts may be linked.
White dwarfs in a binary often merge into a variety of interesting phenomena. However, nobody has sought to understand the role that magnetic fields play during the merger. The authors simulate the merging of two white dwarfs with magnetic fields to see what happens.
The galaxy is littered with white dwarfs, the burnt out remnants of stars that have run out of hydrogen fuel in their cores, but were too small to explode as supernovae. But far from being lifeless orbs, around a tenth of white dwarfs have powerful magnetic fields, a million times stronger than that of the Sun. How did these magnetic white dwarfs become such strong magnets? And just how many are there. The authors of this paper set out to answer the second of these questions, in the hope that it would shed light on the first.
The recent discovery of two pulsating, compact stellar remnants intertwined in a binary system has uncovered a system never-before observed in our Universe, and will offer new avenues for studying the exotic objects involved.
The number and luminosity distribution of white dwarfs stars can be used to help figure out the past history of the Galactic halo.
In today’s Astrophysical Classic, we hark back to 1987 and the introduction of a new method determining the age of the universe through the use of white dwarf stars.