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Astronomers have observed a phenomenon, called, “cosmic cannibalism," a dead star is ripping apart its planetary system.
- A white dwarf is ripping up an entire planetary system with its death throes.
- A star is ending its life so violently that the dead star left behind, called a white dwarf, is disrupting an entire planetary system by sucking in debris from both its inner and outer reaches.
- This cosmic phenomenon is the first time that astronomershave observed.
- The white dwarf star is consuming the rock-metallic and icy material, both of which are the “ingredients of planets”.
- This case of cosmic cannibalism was diagnosed with the help of archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other NASA observatories.
- The researchers obtained the findings based on the analysis of material captured by the atmosphere of the nearby white dwarf star G238-44.
- A white dwarf is formed when a low-mass star like our sun exhausts most of its nuclear fuel.
- It is usually very dense and about the size of a planet.
- They are dense, dim, stellar corpses — the last observable stage of evolution for low- and medium-mass stars.
- Compared to our sun, a white dwarf has a similar carbon and oxygen mass though it is much smaller in size — similar to Earth.
- White dwarf temperatures can exceed 100,000 Kelvin according to NASA (that's about 179,500 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Despite these sweltering temperatures, white dwarfs have a low luminosity as they're so small in size.
Verifying, please be patient.