A team of US-based astronomers has identified an ancient stellar remnant, a white dwarf star so cool that it’s caused carbon to crystallize effectively producing an Earth-sized diamond in space.
New research from an international team of astronomers from the UK's University of Leicester and the University of Arizona sheds light on how stars reaching the end of their useful life and collapsing in on themselves become polluted.
Astrophysicists at the University of Warwick have discovered four white dwarf stars that are surrounded by cosmic dust from shattered planetary bodies. One star is in the process of consuming an Earth-like exoplanet.
Artist's impression of a white dwarf star in orbit with pulsar PSR J2222-0137. It may be the coolest and dimmest white dwarf ever identified.
B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
Artist's Impression of a Massive Asteroid Belt in Orbit around a Star. A news study shows that similar rubble around many white dwarfs contaminates these stars with rocky material and water.
NASA-JPL / Caltech / T. Pyle (SSC)
Artist's Impression of Debris around a White Dwarf Star - what our solar system might look like billions of years hence after the Sun has exhausted its store of hydrogen and become a white dwarf.
NASA, ESA, STScI, and G. Bacon (STScI)
Pushing the limits of its powerful vision, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. These extremely old, dim "clockwork stars" provide a completely independent reading on the age of the universe.
Image credit: NASA and H. Richer (University of British Columbia)