TechSpot

Evolved stars locked in fatalistic dance

By abe10tiger
Jul 15, 2011
Post New Reply
  1. Science News

    White dwarfs are the burned-out cores of stars like our Sun. Astronomers have discovered a pair of white dwarfs spiraling into one another at breakneck speeds. Today, these white dwarfs are so near they make a complete orbit in just 13 minutes, but they are gradually slipping closer together. About 900,000 years from now -- a blink of an eye in astronomical time -- they will merge and possibly explode as a supernova. By watching the stars converge, scientists will test both Einstein's general theory of relativity and the origin of some peculiar supernovae.


    [​IMG]
    Two white dwarfs have been discovered on the brink of a merger. In just 900,000 years, material will start to stream from one star to the other (as shown in this artist's conception), beginning the process that may end with a spectacular supernova explosion. Watching these stars fall in will allow astronomers to test Einstein's general theory of relativity as well as the origin of a special class of supernovae. (Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA))

    Source:ScienceDaily
     


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.