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white dwarfs

This tag is associated with 14 posts

A white dwarf eating a debris disk

This white dwarf is surrounded by a debris disk. What formed the disk, and what’s destroying it now?

Searching for Signs of Plate Tectonics in Polluted White Dwarfs

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.

Timing is Everything: A Pulsar in Orbit

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.

Progenitors of AM CVn systems

The progenitors of a special type of cataclysmic variable, AM CVn, and possibly supernovae have been found.

Water found in remains of planetary system around a white dwarf

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.

Evidence for two distinct populations of Type Ia Supernovae

Type Ia Supernovae are extensively used in astronomy research, but the progenitors of these massive explosions are still not well understood. This paper discusses new evidence that there are two distinct populations of type Ia supernovae, and that they originate from different stellar populations.

The Fates of Planets Orbiting White Dwarfs

This article considers the fate of planets that orbit stars that will become white dwarfs. Can they survive? Could they be habitable?

White Dwarf Detonation

Exploding diamonds in the sky

Pakmor et al. propose a new mechanism to make Type 1a supernova explosions from a pair of white dwarfs.

Astronomers like Easter egg hunts: studying a unique star system in the infrared

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.

Examining the Fate of White Dwarf Companions

What happens to a low-mass companion when a star evolves off the main sequence to become a white dwarf?

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