Astronomy Picture of the Day

White Dwarf Star Spiral

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#74258 by @ 02.06.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
White Dwarf Star Spiral


About 1,600 light-years away, in a
binary star system
known as J0806
, two dense white dwarf stars
orbit each
once every 321 seconds.

x-ray data
from the Chandra
astronomers argue that the stars'
already impressively short orbital period is steadily getting
shorter as the stars spiral closer together.

Even though they are separated by about 80,000 kilometers
(the Earth-Moon distance is 400,000 kilometers)
the two stars are therefore destined to merge.

Depicted in this artist's vision,
the death spiral
of the remarkable J0806 system is
a consequence of Einstein's theory
of General Relativity that
predicts the white dwarf stars will lose
their orbital energy by generating
gravity waves.

In fact, J0806 could be one of the brightest sources of
gravitational waves in our galaxy, directly
detectable by future space-based
gravity wave instruments.

Credit & Copyright
#74296 by @ 02.06.2005 16:44 - nach oben -
wirbled au no recht staub uf hä.