Tuesday, May 21, 2024

White dwarfs are ‘heavy metal’ zombie stars cannibalizing their dead planetary systems

AstronomyWhite dwarfs are 'heavy metal' zombie stars cannibalizing their dead planetary systems


Astronomers may have finally solved the mystery of how superdense dead stars called white dwarfs keep their heavy metal shells fresh — by cannibalizing what remains of their planetary systems. 

Our sun is destined to turn into a white dwarf in around five billion years, after it runs out of the hydrogen that fuels nuclear fusion at its core. The new research therefore may give us a hint about what could happen to the rest of the solar system after this transformation has taken place.

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