A strange new star created by colliding white dwarves is unlike anything we’ve seen before

The central star in the IRAS 00500 + 6713 nebula may be a new species. The European Space Agency (ESA) XMM-Newtown X-ray Telescope saw the star and nebula shining green in this image.

ESA / XMM-Newton, L. Oskinova / Univ. Potsdam, Germany

Far, far into the future, our Sun will become a white dwarf star, a dense, dead-on relic of itself. There are many white dwarves lurking in the universe. Sometimes they collide. Astronomers believe that the merging of two white dwarves may have spawned a previously unseen type of star, a kind of zombie furnace that arose from death. When seen in x-ray light, the nebula surrounding this new star glows with an eye-catching green thanks to neon gas.

The The European Space Agency has released an unusual view of a star On Monday, he said, „This image shows a new type of star that has never been seen in X-ray light.“ The star J005311 is found in a dense cloud of dust and gas – a nebula – known as IRAS 00500 + 6713.

The It caught the attention of astronomers for the first time in 2019Obviously, it was a strange game. „At that time, astronomers had already reported that the object was characterized by very high wind speeds and it was very bright, and therefore so huge, that it could not be an ordinary white dwarf,“ The European Space Agency said in a statement on Monday.

A team led by an astrophysicist Lydia Oskinova From the University of Potsdam in Germany he took a fresh look at the star using ESA XMM-Newton X-ray Telescope. Team A. A paper on the star in the Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics in December.

Collisions of white dwarves can be devastating to the stars in question, but these white dwarves did not follow the typical rules of the game. According to the European Space Agency, the team suggests, „What we see in the image is a new type of X-ray source powered by the fusion of two white dwarves.“

X-ray telescopes like XMM-Newton allow us to see cosmic objects in a different way than optical telescopes like NASA Hubble. „Many celestial bodies generate x-rays in extremely violent processes,“ ESA said. XMM-Newton is able to see this action and contribute to our understanding of it NebulaeAnd the GalaxiesAnd supernovae and black holes.

A new X-ray study gives a more complete picture of what is happening to the star in the nebula. Her fate sealed. The European Space Agency said it is extremely unstable and likely to collapse into a neutron star – which is what happens when the star’s fuel runs out at the end of its life – within 10,000 years. But it will be glorious as long as it lasts.

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