(CNN) – Scientists have finally observed two special objects that explain strange stars like ghosts – a special evolutionary step in binary star systems.
According to Science Alert, the new research focuses on particular white dwarf stars. When stars like the Sun run out of energy, they explode into red giants, and then collapse into an object the size of Earth, but an average of 1.4 times the mass of the Sun.
But sometimes scientists come across strange white dwarfs, only 1/8-1/3 the mass of the Sun, like being sucked by some monster. These are called ELMs. This completely broke previous astronomical theories, because for a star to lose so much mass, it would take a much longer time than the current 13.8 billion year lifespan of the universe. So ELM seems to come from another, older universe, causing great confusion for scientists.
Using data from the two super telescopes Gaia and Zwicky, the team led by astronomer Kareeem El-Bardry from the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics selected 50 white dwarfs in the growing phase. change. Then, thanks to the Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory, they continued to select 21 stars that were most convenient to observe.
Previously, scientists have found that white dwarfs in binary star systems are often “vampires”, continuously sucking matter from their companion until they both explode, one because of exhaustion, one side “broken belly”.
However, this time, astronomers have observed a reverse process: some white dwarfs, when reaching a certain “fullness” but not yet exploding, have been eaten by a companion star… retrograde. again. The companion star is sometimes so powerful that the white dwarf loses more material than it has absorbed, turning into an actual phantom – an extremely light stellar corpse.
The study has just been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.