With a magnetic field more powerful than Earth’s and a mass greater than that of the Sun, the smallest known white dwarf is intriguing.
It is barely larger than our own natural satellite. However, it is more massive than the Sun. With just 2,100 kilometers in radius, it is positioned as one of the smallest stars never discovered in the known Universe. With all of the above, the newborn white dwarf The discovery caught the attention of the astronomers who found it.
It is cataloged as “white dwarf” to star remnants similar in size to our Sun that have exhausted their nuclear fuel. For this reason, the 97% of stars go through this process in his life trajectory. The vast majority that have been observed are roughly the same size as our planet – minus this one.
At just 600 kilometers more in radius than the Moon, this celestial object is the most massive known of its kind. Astronomers calculate that could be 1.3 times the mass of the Sun. According to the research conducted, this condition is due to the fact that they shrink as they gain mass.
“That is not the only very surprising feature of this white dwarf,” noted astrophysicist Ilaria Caiazzo. “It is also spinning fast.” It is estimated to describe one complete revolution around its own axis every seven minutes, impressive speed for its size. Not only that: it has a more powerful magnetic field than Earth’s, and scientists still don’t know why.
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Estimates from the Zwicky Transitional Facility at the Palomar Observatory in California suggest that the smallest white dwarf observed so far it is located about 130 light years from our planet. It was localized for its unusual brightness, and has been intrigued by its unique characteristics.
So far, it is known that it was possibly born from the common orbit between two other white dwarfs. Due to their proximity, they eventually merged to create the same entity, with a mass much higher than average. This convergence, astrophysicists say, could explain the fact that it spins so fast and have such a strong magnetic field. According to the study, over time it may not support its own weight and explode.
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