Today ESO revealed a new type of exotic binary stars: A red dwarf that is heated by a magnetised white dwarf - It's like a lash punching every 1.97 Minutes at the poor red dwarf. The discovery was rewarded with a publication in Nature1.
The white dwarf is for some reasons highly magnetised and can therefore accelerate electrons to relativistic velocities ("almost lightspeed") - These display a huge energy flow that can heat up the nearby red dwarf every half spinning time.
The star system has already been found 40 years ago but was mistakenly falsely categorised as variable single star. Amateur-astronomers found peculiarities and follow-up professional observations revealed the true nature of the object.
Details can be found on the ESO page. An because it's beautiful, I also link the video to the artist impression here.
1 "A radio pulsing white dwarf binary star" - T. Marsh et al., to appear in the journal Nature on 28 July 2016.
AMS (Alpha magnetic spectrometer - an experiment on the ISS)
... and some more 🙂
I was really impressed by the significance maps of HAWK. The experiment at a Mexican volcano runs for about a year now and has already some nice benchmark results to show. Impressive – let’s see how far they come within the next years.
H.E.S.S. showed that CT5 is working and we are now in the H.E.S.S. II phase, and FERMI reflected also about the famous FERMI-Bubbles. This are just some topics of the conference, the amount of new things was overwhelming and I will need some time to reflect about everything I’ve learned.
Stay in touch, there are lots of new things on the way from the Gamma-ray sky!
Lots of question remain unanswered, the quest of understanding our cosmos continues. We have not yet seen any signatures of Dark Matter, although it must be most certainly there, the nature of cosmic rays is still not fully understood and the diffuse emission in the Milky Way (topic of my PhD thesis) is also a huge construction site. The outlook on the performance of the CTA Observatory (Cherenkov telescope array) is exciting, and will bring new insights in the nature of cosmological effects and objects.
So,Heidelberg was nice, the conference was very fruitful but now I’m glad that I can go back home 🙂
It will take me some weeks to cover all the impressions of this week …