In the AR Scorpii, the scientists discovered a binary star containing a white dwarf that spins its particles close to the speed of light.
The stars up in the sky are undergoing different processes that make them pulse all the time. They shrink, and they expand, they eclipse each other, and they even share mass.
The American Association of Variable Star Observers is dedicated to variable stars.
The significant variation in the light curve made the scientists from the Astronomy & Astrophysics group from the University of Warwick, England, to monitor the activity of the star.
They decided to follow the star with the help of a high-speed camera.
The star was discovered in 1971, and it was classified as a lone variable star which expands and contracts. The discovery did not seem to be of much interest to the scientists. Thus they continued space exploration towards new territories.
The new team of researchers discovered that, in fact, the star is composed of a white dwarf and a red dwarf. The white dwarf resulted from the remains of a star that lacked energy, and the red dwarf is a star similar to our Sun but only smaller. The new variable star had them both.
The researchers realized that the pulsing of the star was, in fact, the moving of the red dwarf away from the white dwarf. The first star was moving away from the second one and coming towards the Earth as it orbited the star.
The white dwarf is the most important part of the binary star. It had strong pulsations, as it can become four or five times more luminous in a matter of seconds and then fades away again.
The scientists that studied the formation called it a new type of cosmic particle accelerator.
Another interesting thing related to the white dwarf is that it emits light in almost all wavelengths, even in the radio. There is only one other star that can emit in radio length, but it does not pulse. In the case of the Scorpii star, the radio waves come from energetic electrons traveling at the speed of light.
The white dwarf has an adamant magnetic field, and it spins at an enormous speed, which makes it accelerate its electrons around the poles, in a way similar to an aurora.
The magnetic pulse is situated closer to the equator, and the poles appear and disappear periodically, which makes it look like a lighthouse.
The scientists want to complete the analysis by using data coming from an X-ray satellite, to see if the star binary is capable of emitting X-ray wavelengths. The scientists also want to know how the star accelerates its particles at that enormous speed.
The researchers also plan to collaborate with amateur astronomers and follow up the star around the world. There is a possibility that white dwarfs could display similar behaviors to pulsing neutron stars.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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