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Scientists confirms fastest spinning white dwarf confirmed

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    1st Dec, 2021

Context

A team of astronomers at the University of Warwick recently confirmed the fastest spinning white dwarf named J0240+1952. 

About

What is J0240+1952?

  • The white dwarf named LAMOST J024048.51+195226.9 – or J0240+1952 for short is an extremely rare example of a magnetic propeller system.
  • It has been found to complete a full rotation once every 25 seconds.
  • It is the fastest spinning confirmed white dwarf.
  • With such a record-breaking spin rate, the star is the second high-speed magnetic propeller.
  • The star J0240+1952 is similar to Earth but is thought to be at least 200,000 times more massive.
  • The data suggests that the star is part of the binary star system. Its immense gravity is pulling material in the form of plasma from its companion star.

What are white dwarf stars?

  • White dwarf stars have medium to high mass and are the final evolutionary state of stars whose mass is not high enough to become a neutron star. 
  • White dwarf stars are stars that have burnt up all their energy and shed its outer layers and now are undergoing a cooling or shrinking process over million of years.
  • The materials in a white dwarf star can no longer undergo fusion reactions, so the star has no source of energy.
  • White dwarfs are the hot, dense remnants of long-dead stars. They are the stellar cores left behind after a star has exhausted its fuel supply and blown its bulk of gas and dust into space.
  • These exotic objects mark the final stage of evolution for most stars in the universe – including our sun – and light the way to a deeper understanding of cosmic history.
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