A white dwarf is what remains of a star when it “burns” all the hydrogen. Astronomers just noticed that one of these white dwarfs turns off and then turns back on in just 30 minutes. It is the first time that such a phenomenon has been detected in such a short time.
a He is a star at the end of his life. The fate that awaits most stars when they burn with them . They end up collapsing to reduce a size similar to the size of the Earth while they exist Still similar to . Some white dwarfs feed on They extract from a companion star. they It can then vary over time from a few days to a few months.
but (UK) today reported that it noticed a That lost its luster in just 30 minutes. before you restore it! A unique phenomenon detected by the TESS satellite (Transiting Exoplanet Survey) Its main objective is . A phenomenon, too, that cannot be fully explained according to scientists’ understanding, to this day, of the way these systems feed.
This white dwarf is TW Pictoris, a starPainter, visible in . Fall on at least 1400 from our land. TW Picoris is exactly the name Who is the white dwarf in question. This, therefore, feeds on a Equipped with hydrogen and by star companion Thus, in principle, it becomes brighter.
Better understanding of the phenomenon of accumulation
However, observations by researchers at Durham University show a sharp decrease and increase in brightness on very short time scales. This phenomenon is even more surprisingThe flow of matter in the accretion disk appears to be relatively constant.
The hypothesis put forward by researchers to explain these mood swings is that On the surface of a white dwarf, it can undergo a series of remodeling processes. what they call fashion ” on fire “, which corresponds to a high luminosity, the white dwarf feeds on the surrounding matter. And suddenly, the system turns off and the brightness collapses. Possibly due to a magnetic field rotating so rapidly that some kind of centrifugal barrier prevents the material from accumulating.
Thus, astronomers invoke the existence of a kind of «magnetic” It is through them that the nutrition of the white dwarf is regulated. Resulting in the small, semi-regular increases in brightness that they also observed. After a while, the system will turn on intermittently and the brightness will return to its original level.
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