Researchers from Centre for Astrophysics have discovered a new type of binary star that have long been suspected to exist. This discovery confirmed how a rare type of star in the universe forms and evolves eventually. This research has been published Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. This star has been discovered by Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory in California.
The new star
Researchers say that when a star dies, it will probably become a white dwarf. A white dwarf is a small object that has contracted and dimmed after burning all it fuels.
Stars can become an extremely low mass white dwarf. These white dwarf stars seem to be more than 13.8 billion years old. But this age is more than how old the universe itself is. So, it is physically impossible.
Previously astronomers thought there is only one way the extremely low mass white dwarf stars are formed. The way is by the help of a binary companion. Only the gravitational pull from a nearby star can make another star a white dwarf.
There is something called cataclysmic variables, which is when massive stars accrete onto white dwarfs. But the researchers did not observe the transitional phase of evolution of a white dwarf.
To make their research stronger, the researchers launched a space-based observatory which has narrowed down one billion stars.
The researchers choose 21 of these stars and closely observed them. They found 13 of them are still losing masses to their companion. All these stars were also hotter in temperature than previously thought.