Astronomers hope to get lucky and discover the first evidence of plate tectonics on a planet besides Earth: remnants of continental crust in the rocky material that pollutes some white dwarfs.
One of nature’s best clocks is a millisecond pulsar. These exotic stellar corpses are neutron stars: incredibly dense, rotating hundreds of times per second, and emitting powerful jets or beams of light. This creates a “pulsing” effect, much like a lighthouse.
The progenitors of a special type of cataclysmic variable, AM CVn, and possibly supernovae have been found.
Astronomers have found evidence of water in the remains of a planetary system around a white dwarf. This indicates water-rich asteroids can bring water to terrestrial planets, important for the habitability of planets.
This article considers the fate of planets that orbit stars that will become white dwarfs. Can they survive? Could they be habitable?
Pakmor et al. propose a new mechanism to make Type 1a supernova explosions from a pair of white dwarfs.
Astronomers like to find cool things. The first Earth-sized planet. The most distant galaxy yet. Two stars that merged while we watched. The coolness factor is certainly one reason why we keep at it – who wouldn’t want to be the first to find an Earth-sized planet, or the first human to see light from a galaxy that’s existed for billions of years? But there’s also a compelling scientific reason to search for these oddballs. This paper reports on the likely discovery of dust around a pair of binary stars.
What happens to a low-mass companion when a star evolves off the main sequence to become a white dwarf?
Title: SDSS J184037.78+642312.3: The First Pulsating Extremely Low Mass White Dwarf Authors: J. J. Hermes, M. H. Montgomery, D. E. Winget, Warren R. Brown, Mukremin Kilic, Scott J. Kenyon First Author’s Institution: UT Austin, TX 97% of all stars — those with initial masses less than about 8 solar masses — end their lives as […]