white dwarf

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Century-Old Evidence of Exoplanet Stuns Scientists

It came 70 years ahead of first exoplanet discovery

(Newser) - Polluted white dwarf stars—which host planetary debris like calcium, magnesium, and iron—are key in helping astronomers discover what's beyond our solar system. "The mechanism that creates the rings of planetary debris, and the deposition onto the stellar atmosphere, requires the gravitational influence of full-fledged planets,"... More »

White Dwarfs Yield Key to Age of Ancient Stars

Astronomer used white dwarfs to calculate age of Milky Way's inner halo

(Newser) - Accurately measuring the age of low-mass, hydrogen burning stars is notoriously difficult, but now astronomers say they have come up with a technique for measuring those difficult stars using white dwarfs, reports the LA Times . A white dwarf is a star that has burned through all of its hydrogen, shed... More »

Scientists Find Diamond Planet

Whirling dead star crystallized carbon into a 12-mile gem

(Newser) - If a diamond is a girl's best friend, then maybe women aren't from Venus, after all: Astronomers combing the southern sky have found a diamond planet, reports Space.com . Dubbed the rather unglamorous PSR J1719-1438, the alien planet is the remnant of a dead star and spins 10,... More »

Nearby Star Could Doom Earth, Scientists Warn

... in 10 million years

(Newser) - The T Pyxidis binary star system is a lot closer than earlier believed, and that could be very bad news for Earthlings, according to a team of astronomers. One of its stars is a white dwarf set to become a Type 1A supernova—10 million times stronger than a regular... More »

4 Stories