A collision of galaxies might also create shock waves that speed the rate at which white dwarfs
steal material from a companion, suggests Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
Professor Boris Gansicke of the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick, who led the study, said the destructive process which caused the discs of dust around these distant white dwarfs
is likely to one day play out in our own solar system.
Ordinarily, these elements would sink into the star quickly and disappear, so the atoms are probably raining down on the white dwarf
as the planets break apart.
As with any archaeological relic, the white dwarfs
contain the history of a bygone era.
This white dwarf
, located in the constellation Aquarius, is so cool that its carbon has crystallized - in other words, it's like a diamond, with a mass similar to that of our Sun.
Where the accretor is always a white dwarf
, the donor star can be either a (helium or hybrid) white dwarf
, a low-mass helium star or an evolved main-sequence star.
The thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf
star produces such supernovas.
According to Farihi, using Hubble to analyze the atmospheres of white dwarfs
is the best method for finding the signatures of solid planet chemistry and determining their composition.
are about the same size as Earth and they slowly cool and fade over time - billions of yearsm which allows it to retain heat long enough to warm a nearby world.
British astronomers scouring data from a major star-mapping study have now identified two white dwarfs
with large amounts of oxygen in their atmospheres.
At the end of its life, the sun will become a white dwarf
The 127 contributions are organized into eight sections: white dwarf
structure and evolution; white dwarf
mass distribution and luminosity function; white dwarfs
in stellar clusters and the galactic halo; white dwarfs
in large surveys; atmospheres, abundances and magnetic fields; white dwarf
dust disks and planetary systems; white dwarfs
in binaries; and variable white dwarfs