Image: Hubble Investigates Stellar Shrapnel

Hubble Investigates Stellar Shrapnel
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Y. Chu

Several thousand years ago, a star some 160,000 light-years away from us exploded, scattering stellar shrapnel across the sky. The aftermath of this energetic detonation is shown here in this striking image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3.

The exploding star was a white dwarf located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of our nearest neighboring galaxies. Around 97 percent of stars within the Milky Way that are between a tenth and eight times the mass of the sun are expected to end up as . These stars can face a number of different fates, one of which is to explode as supernovae, some of the brightest events ever observed in the universe. If a white dwarf is part of a binary star system, it can siphon material from a close companion. After gobbling up more than it can handle—and swelling to approximately one and a half times the size of the sun—the star becomes unstable and ignites as a Type Ia supernova.

This was the case for the supernova remnant pictured here, which is known as DEM L71. It formed when a white dwarf reached the end of its life and ripped itself apart, ejecting a superheated cloud of debris in the process. Slamming into the surrounding interstellar gas, this stellar shrapnel gradually diffused into the separate fiery filaments of material seen scattered across this skyscape.


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Image: Hubble gazes at long-dead star

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Citation: Image: Hubble Investigates Stellar Shrapnel (2016, August 22) retrieved 21 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-08-image-hubble-stellar-shrapnel.html
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RNP
Aug 22, 2016
I believe the above article contains an error. It says "......swelling to approximately one and a half times the size of the sun." Given that white dwarfs are significantly smaller than the sun, I think this should have read ".... approximately one and a half times the *mass* of the sun." The use of the word "swelling" is also, I think, probably misleading.


RNP
Aug 22, 2016
I have just remembered that white dwarfs *shrink* with increasing mass. so, the use of the word swelling is almost certainly wrong. (see e.g. http://iopscience...238/pdf)

Aug 22, 2016
It gains mass from the companion. Why wouldn't it swell?

Aug 22, 2016
"Around 97 percent of stars within the Milky Way that are between a tenth and eight times the mass of the sun are expected to end up as white dwarfs."

Multiple pointless. Above 75% of the total number of stars of the Milky Way are stars sized white dwarfs (M type and other mass small stars).
The mass of white dwarfs is compatible with the other small stars with the difference that the slower rotation (Brown dwarfs, M and G type ..) for consequence has a greater radius along same mass and vice versa ..

RNP
Aug 22, 2016


"Around 97 percent of stars within the Milky Way that are between a tenth and eight times the mass of the sun are expected to end up as white dwarfs."

Multiple pointless. Above 75% of the total number of stars of the Milky Way are stars sized white dwarfs (M type and other mass small stars).
The mass of white dwarfs is compatible with the other small stars with the difference that the slower rotation (Brown dwarfs, M and G type ..) for consequence has a greater radius along same mass and vice versa ..


I do not really understand your point, but while white dwarfs have masses similar to the stars you mentioned, they are only 1/100th of their size. This is because the stars that become white dwarfs have ejected their outer layers. It has nothing to do with rotation.

RNP
Aug 22, 2016
It gains mass from the companion. Why wouldn't it swell?


As the paper I referenced shows the more massive the white dwarf the smaller it is.
I have found a brief description of why on the NASA site:

http://imagine.gs...fs2.html

Aug 22, 2016
Interesting...didn't think it would work like that. But upon redaing up here:
https://en.wikipe...ar_limit
it makes sense.

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