Are you hungry baby? Dead star seen ‘eating itself’, NASA says

This is the first time that astronomers have observed a white dwarf star that consumes rocky-metallic and icy matter of its own composition.

(Photo: Publicity/NASA)

NASA sees ex-star (white dwarf) ‘eating itself’

file data Telescope NASA’s Hubble Space Station and other agency observatories were key to diagnosing this case of “cosmic self-cannibalism”.

According Nasathe findings help describe the violent nature of evolved planetary systems and can tell astronomers about the composition of newly formed systems.

The findings are based on the analysis of materials captured by the atmosphere of the neighboring white dwarf star G238-44. A white dwarf is what remains of a radiant star like the Floorafter losing its outer layers and ceasing to burn fuel through nuclear fusion.

According to Ted Johnson, principal investigator and recent graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA): “We have never seen these two types of objects accumulate simultaneously on a white dwarf.”

Johnson also says that by studying these white dwarfs, we hope to better understand the planetary systems that are still intact.

And the Earth is very full. It will be?

The findings are also intriguing because small, icy objects are credited with colliding with and “hosing down” dry, rocky planets in our solar system.

It is believed that billions of years ago, comets and asteroids provided Earth with water, creating the conditions necessary for life as we know it.

The composition of the detected bodies and the possible “rains” on the white dwarf imply that ice reservoirs may be common to all planetary systems, Johnson said.

Theories of planetary system evolution describe the transition between a red giant star and the phases of a white dwarf as a chaotic process.

Small objects like asteroids and dwarf planets can venture very close to giant planets and be sent towards the star.

Although astronomers have cataloged more than 5,000 exoplanets, the only planet of which we have direct knowledge of its interior composition is Earth.

The cannibalism of white dwarfs provides a unique opportunity to further study the planets and find out what their composition was when they formed around the star.

The detection of iron in very high abundance is evidence of metallic cores of terrestrial planets such as Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury. Unexpected abundances of nitrogen led them to conclude that icy bodies were present.

Researchers study the final scenario of the evolution of Floorin 5 billion years.

Planet Earth can be completely vaporized along with the rest of the planets in our system. But, the orbits of many asteroids will be gravitationally perturbed by Jupiter and will eventually fall into the white dwarf that will become the remaining Sun. This means that: we can also have this end.

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Marianne Souza

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