A white dwarf star in a binary system sucks matter from its “companion” and orbits it in an extremely close orbit..
Discovered in images taken by the ZTF camera at the Palomar Observatory in California, The binary star system is named ZTF J1813+4251 This is located approximately 3,000 light years from Earth. It consists of a white dwarf star and the remains of a red giant star orbiting every 51 minutes, Space reported October 7.
Simulation of a white dwarf devouring a red giant star.
Simulation of a white dwarf star devouring a red giant star. (Photo: Mark Garlick)
ZTF J1813+4251 is a classic example of a sudden variable star, in which the gravitational pull of the smaller white dwarf is so strong that “fly” gaseous material coming from the hydrogen shell around its companion star. This gas then forms a bridge between the two bodies and is finally attracted to the surface of the white dwarf.
As the density of the accumulated matter increases, it burns in a thermonuclear explosion called a nova. This event is not strong enough to destroy the star and occurs periodically, causing the system to suddenly brighten and then return to a static state, hence the name. “sudden variable stars”.
Astronomer Kevin Burge of the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology used an algorithm to search for suddenly variable star systems through images of a billion stars taken by the ZTF device. The ZTF J1813+ 4251 system stands out because it is also a twinkling star systemmeaning that when two stars orbit each other, we can see one star pass in front and dim the brightness of the other star, causing the system to flicker depending on the star’s orbital period.
Burdge and his team used the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Gran Telescope Canarias in the Canary Islands to precisely measure the mass, radius and orbital period of the star system.
“The 51-minute orbital period is the shortest ever observed for star systems with sudden outpourings”underlines the study.
As the two stars of ZTF J1813+4251 approach each other, the white dwarf begins to eat its companion. It is a Sun-like star that has aged and evolved into a red giant star. Its outer layers of hydrogen swell and are easily stolen by white dwarfs. Over millions of years, so much hydrogen gas was extracted from the red giant that its helium-rich core was exposed.
The two stars are expected to continue moving closer together for another 70 million years and their orbital periods will gradually decrease until the two stars orbit each other in just 18 minutes. After this point, when the accretion process stops because the available gas is exhausted, the two slowly move away from each other.
Article source: VnExpress
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A white dwarf star in a binary system extracts matter from its “companion” and orbits it in an extremely close orbit. Discovered in…