"Vampire" star discovered in the midst of a feeding frenzy

James Marshall
January 27, 2020

The group intends to keep mining Kepler information, just as data from another exoplanet tracker, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) strategic, the search of different homeless people. Astronomers acknowledged Friday that they've identified a previously unknown and unexplained dwarf nova that is feasting on its neighbor. The framework lit up by a factor of 1,600 over not precisely a day prior gradually blurring endlessly. Astronomers are ready to modern why the outburst came about, however the manufacture bigger in brightness remains a mystery.

This star system consists of a "White Dwarf" star with a "Brown Dwarf" companion that's roughly 10 percent the size of its rapacious neighbour. A white dwarf is the untouched core of an ageing Sun-like star.

Brown dwarf stars are considered "unusual stars", while white dwarfs are created when a sun-like star reaches the end of its life and burns all of its fuel.

The unfortunate Brown Dwarf circles the White Dwarf star every 83 minutes at a distance of only 250,000 miles (400,000km) - equivalent to the average distance between the Earth and Moon. An individual system may go for years or decades between outbursts, making it a challenge to catch one in the act.

After launching in March 2009, the Kepler space telescope searched for exoplanets by looking for stars that dimmed as planets crossed them.

The exhausted star's powerful gravity rips matter from the brown dwarf, sucking away its essence like a vampire. Its design allowed it to spot other astronomical transients - objects that brighten or dim over time.

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan 25 (ANI): Astronomers have discovered a "vampire" star in the midst of a feeding frenzy, with the help of an automated program that is sifting through archived data from the decommissioned Kepler Space Telescope. "We were looking for any sort of transient." .

"The rare event we found was a super-outburst from the dwarf nova, which can be thought of like a vampire star system", said Mr. Ridden-Harper, who conducted the study as part of his Ph.D.at The Australian National University (ANU). Certainly, researches reveal that the disk's temperature increases from about 5,000-10,000° F (2,700-5,300° C) in its natural state to a high of 17,000-21,000° F (9,700-11,700° C) at the peak of the super-outburst.

Ryan Ridden-Harper of the Space Telescope Science Institute, said the discovery had been something of an "accident".

Kepler's data observed the dwarf nova over a period of 30 days during which it rapidly became brighter, 1,600 times brighter to be precise.

"These dwarf nova systems have been studied for decades, so spotting something new is pretty tricky", said Ridden-Harper.

One possible explanation is that the accretion disk reached a tipping point, causing the outburst. "We gawk accretion disks during - from newly forming stars to supermassive dark holes - so you would possibly want to to clutch them".

Peter Garnavich of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, "The constant comments by Kepler/K2, and now TESS, of these powerful stellar systems, provides us to examine the earliest hours of the outburst, a time-domain that is nearly impracticable to move from ground-based observatories".

This type of dwarf nova system is rare, with only about 100 known examples. They are tough to idea as a result of a system would possibly well additionally goal whisk years and even a long time between outbursts.

The team plans to continue searching through data from both Kepler and another exoplanet hunter, TESS, to search for other transients. "Along the way, we might discover some rare events that no other telescope could find".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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