An Earth-Sized Diamond Identified as White Dwarf Star
By Afza Fathima | June 27, 2014 1:12 PM EST
A faint white dwarf star that crystallized into an Earth-sized diamond as been identified by astronomer who suggest that this could be one of the strangest stars in the galaxy.
In a press release, Professor David Kaplan of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said, "It's a really remarkable object. These things should be out there, but because they are so dim they are very hard to find." A pulsar, PSR J2222-0137, lead to the finding of this white star. At a rate of 30 times a second, the pulsar spins around the star. Pulsars are easy to spot with the help of radio waves and they, too, are remnants of exploded stars.
The recently discovered white dwarf star is said to have crystallised into an Earth-sized diamond.
The fusion reaction pumping out heat and energy end the life span of a star, hence making it a white dwarf star as it is faint, dense and cold. The fusion reaction leaves the carbon and oxygen remaining in the star to come into a state of intense density and cold.
Astronomers estimate that the star is the same age as the Milky Way at eleven billion years. The recently discovered star is also said to be the coolest star, as the researchers calculated its temperature and said it could be 2700 degrees celsius.
Like the sun, a red giant, runs out of fuel forming white dwarf stars. The red giant collapses because there is no more hydrogen to keep it burning and it shrinks to one hundredths of the original size. Over billions of years, the star dims itself and gets cold. The remnants of the giant are tightly packed with carbon and oxygen and has a mass that can be compared to the Sun when it is squished into the size of the Earth.
The cooling and cystallisation of the carbon core of the whte dwarf results in a diamond the size of the earth.
According to Astronomy.com, Einstein himself had a hand in connecting the pulsar to its companion white dwarf:
By applying Einstein's theory of relativity, the researchers studied how the gravity of the companion warped space, causing delays in the radio signal as the pulsar passed behind it. These delayed travel times helped the researchers determine the orientation of their orbit and the individual masses of the two stars. The pulsar has a mass 1.2 times that of the Sun and the companion a mass of 1.05 times that of the Sun.
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