White Dwarf Surprise — Again!

White Dwarf Surprise — Again!

Nearly a year ago, Astrobites reported on an unexpected finding from the Kepler spacecraft: A pair of white dwarfs that were “outbursting”, becoming as much as 20 percent brighter every few days before quieting down again. Today’s paper adds another two outbursting white dwarfs, and begins to explore the reason for this hitherto unobserved behavior.

A Rock Of Unusual Size

A Rock Of Unusual Size

It seems that whenever we have a fact about exoplanets nailed down, an exception will quickly crop up. The authors of today’s paper claim to have spotted a planet over twice the diameter of the Earth, made from solid rock.

A Nested Binary System

A Nested Binary System

For several years now, there has been considerable interest in circumbinary planets – that is to say, planets that orbit both stars in a binary system. They pose many interesting questions, such as, “How does their formation differ from planets in single-star systems?”, “What will happen to them when the stars evolve?”, and of course, “Could humans live there?” It was because of questions like these that the authors of today’s paper turned their telescopes on KIC 7177553.