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Astrophysicist predicts detached, eclipsing white dwarfs to merge into exotic star

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:26 am

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist, Mukremin Kilic, and his team have discovered two detached, eclipsing double white dwarf binaries with orbital periods of 40 and 46 minutes, respectively. White dwarfs are the remnants of Sun-like stars, many of which are found in pairs, or binaries. However, only a handful of white dwarf binaries are known with orbital periods less than one hour in the Milky Way—a galaxy made up of two hundred billion stars—and most have been discovered by Kilic and his colleagues.

"Short-period white dwarf binaries are interesting because they generate gravitational waves. One of the new discoveries emits so much gravitational waves that it is a new verification source for the upcoming Laser Interferometer Space Antenna—a gravitational wave satellite," Kilic said.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:28 am

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Credit: University of Oklahoma

Mukremin Kilic, OU astrophysicist, and team have discovered two detached, eclipsing double white dwarf binaries with orbital periods of 40 and 46 minutes, respectively. Only a handful of white dwarf binaries are know with orbital periods less than one hour in our galaxy and most were discovered by Kilic and colleagues.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:30 am



160,000 light years away, the Tarantula Nebula houses many young, hot stars. But the weirdest is probably the "over-contact" binary named VFTS 352 whose two huge, hot surfaces are touching as they dance rapidly around. Whether as a gamma ray mega-burst or twin supernovas leaving binary black holes disrupting space-time, there's no way this ends well.

 
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