They identify the smallest and largest white dwarf ever, which is on the verge of collapse


July 1, 2021 15:23 GMT

The dead star, the size of the moon, is the smallest of its kind.

Astronomers have discovered the smallest and largest white dwarf ever observed. They named it ZTF J1901 + 1458 and it is located about 130 light-years away in the constellation Eagle. It is about 100 million years old. extreme rotation And a field about 1,000 million times stronger than the Sun.

It is the collapsed super-dense core of a star withMass greater than the mass of our sun With a body the size of our moon, Indicates Ilaria Caiazzo, Research Associate in Theoretical Astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology (USA).

Its mass is estimated to be about 1.35 times the mass of the Sun, but Its diameter is only 4280 km. Its mass is on the verge of the maximum a white dwarf can have before it becomes so unstable that it explodes in a supernova.

Along with his team, Caiazzo decided to be a white dwarf The product of the fusion of two white dwarfs smallest.

Furthermore, scientists suggest that a compact white dwarf may be massive enough to evolve into a dead neutron-rich star, or neutron star, which typically forms when a star much larger than our sun explodes into a supernova.

“This is highly speculative, but it is possible that the white dwarf is massive enough to continue to collapse. to become a neutron starCaiazzo, lead author of the new study suggested, published in Nature magazine.

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“It’s so massive and dense that the electrons in its nucleus are captured by the protons in the nuclei to form neutrons. As the pressure of the electrons pushes against the force of gravity, keeping the star intact, the nucleus collapses when too many electrons are removed,” he explained.

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