The mineral “scar” that indicates the star “devoured” planets, according to astronomers | Sciences

The mineral “scar” that indicates the star “devoured” planets, according to astronomers |  Sciences

Illustration of the magnetic white dwarf WD 0816-310 with a metallic scar – Image: ESO/L. Calzada/BBC

Astronomers in the United Kingdom have discovered evidence that A The star could be “feeding” on nearby planets and asteroids.

Kind of A metallic “scar” found on the surface of a dead star Astronomer John Landstreet, of Armagh Observatory and the Astronomical Research Center at the Northern Ireland Planetarium, said it had never been seen before.

The scar that is believed to be present 500 km longIt was in the remains of an Earth-sized star in a nearby solar system. The star no longer produces energy in its core, which is why it is said to be dead.

Astronomers named the white dwarf star WD 0816-310.

Research has found that scarring develops after… The white dwarf swallowed nearby planets and asteroids that were born at the same time as itThis causes a concentration of metals that leave marks on the surface of the star.

Landstreet, co-author of the research paper, is a member of the team that discovered the first magnetic white dwarf in 1970.

“Surprisingly, the matter was not uniformly mixed on the star's surface, as theory predicted,” he said.

Instead, this scar is a concentrated patch of planetary material, held in place by the same magnetic field that was guiding the falling fragments. Nothing like this has ever been seen before.

The research was conducted by an international team of scientists using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT), based in Chile.

The astronomers said the power of the metal detection was in sync with observed changes in the star's magnetic field, leading the team to determine that the metallic scar was located at one of the star's magnetic poles.

This showed that the metals were directed into the star by its magnetic field, creating the scar.

Stefano Pagnolo, an astronomer at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, said it was known that some white dwarfs were “feeding” on parts of their planetary systems.

“We now discover that the white dwarf’s magnetic field plays a major role in this process, leading to a scar on its surface,” he said.

What is a white dwarf star?

A white dwarf is the burned-out remains of a dead star. This will happen to our Sun in about five billion years.

When a star dies, gravity causes heavier elements to move toward the center, while lighter elements, such as hydrogen or helium, rise to the outer layer.

At their hottest times, stars have hydrogen atmospheres, but as stars cool over time, they tend to have helium atmospheres.

But typical white dwarfs do not have one side of the star devoted to one element and the other side dominated by another element.

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