Friday, September 4, 2009

Stand Aside, its time for SCIENCE

Its a great time to love science. We now have the first evidence of a binary star system where one is a massive white dwarf star. Such stars are the precursor to type 1a supernovae. A white dwarf star is usually about half as massive as the earth and about as large, however, the star the ESA has found is half the size of the earth and half again as massive, hence much much denser than the average white dwarf. The theory is that when the star hits 1.60 earth masses, it will cause a supernova, one that is close enough to us that will light up the sky day and night. The inhabitants of this planet are going to be so damn lucky in a few million years....

ScienceDaily (2009-09-04) -- The European Space Agency's XMM-Newton orbiting X-ray telescope has uncovered a celestial Rosetta stone: the first close-up of a white dwarf star, circling a companion star, that could explode into a particular kind of supernova in a few million years. These supernovae are used as beacons to measure cosmic distances and ultimately understand the expansion of our Universe.

White dwarfs

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