Hubble discovers dead star engaging in ‘space cannibalism’

Hubble discovers dead star engaging in ‘space cannibalism’

  • The researchers used data from Hubble and other observatories to analyze materials captured by the atmosphere of the white dwarf G238-44.
  • The discovery of icy bodies could be a signal that life as we know it will emerge somewhere else.
  • A white dwarf is the remains of a star similar to our Sun.
  • Astronomers have explored over 5,000 exoplanets, the only one of which we have direct knowledge of its internal components is Earth.

The Hubble Space Telescope has found evidence that the white dwarf is consuming rocks and icy bodies from its own system, which scientists say suggests that water and other volatiles may exist in the farthest reaches of the Milky Way galaxy.

The discovery of icy bodies may herald that a “water reservoir” may be circulating at the edges of the planetary system, making it possible for life as we know it to emerge elsewhere.

The researchers used data from Hubble and other observatories to analyze material captured in the atmosphere of nearby dwarf star G238-44.

A white dwarf is basically the remains of a star like our Sun after it sheds its outer layers and stops burning fuel through nuclear fusion.

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This illustrated diagram depicts the G238-44 planetary system. A tiny white dwarf is in the center. The faint accretion disk consists of fragments of broken bodies falling onto the white dwarf. Other asteroids and planetary bodies are a reservoir of material surrounding a star.

“Life as we know it requires a rocky planet covered in various elements such as carbon, nitrogen and oxygen,” said Benjamin Zuckerman, a professor at UCLA and co-author.

“The abundance of elements we see in this white dwarf appears to require both a rocky and volatile parent body – the first example we’ve found among studies of hundreds of white dwarfs.”

Although astronomers have explored more than 5,000 exoplanets, the only one whose internal components we have direct knowledge of is Earth.

White dwarf cannibalism is giving scientists a rare opportunity to take apart planets and figure out what they’re made of.

The illustration shows a white dwarf pumping out debris from destroyed objects in a planetary system.  The Hubble Space Telescope found the signature of this vaporized debris, which showed a mixture of metallic rock and icy material.  These are the ingredients of the planets

The illustration shows a white dwarf pumping out debris from destroyed objects in a planetary system. The Hubble Space Telescope found the signature of this vaporized debris, which showed a mixture of metallic rock and icy material. These are the ingredients of the planets

The Hubble Space Telescope, launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and still operational, has found evidence of a white dwarf engaged in

The Hubble Space Telescope, launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and still operational, has found evidence of a white dwarf engaged in “space cannibalism”.

According to NASA, the team measured the presence of nitrogen, oxygen, magnesium, silicon and iron, among other elements.

The discovery of iron in very large quantities indicates the metallic cores of planets such as Earth, Venus and Mars.

“The most suitable combination for our data was a nearly two-to-one combination of Mercury-like material and comet-like material, which is composed of ice and dust,” Johnson said.

“Iron metal and nitrogen ice suggest completely different planetary formation conditions. There is no known object in the solar system with so many of both.”

When our Sun goes out in about 5 billion years, it will lose its mass by removing its outer layers.

As a result, objects such as asteroids, comets, and moons will be scattered around like “pinballs in an arcade game”. according to NASA scientists.

At this point, the Earth may completely evaporate, but the researchers believe that the orbits of asteroids in the main asteroid belt will be gravitationally perturbed by Jupiter and eventually turn into a white dwarf, which will become the Sun.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is still operational and has made over 1.5 million observations since it began its mission in 1990.

The Hubble Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990 by the Space Shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It is named after famed astronomer Edwin Hubble, who was born in Missouri in 1889.

He is perhaps best known for discovering that the universe is expanding, and the rate at which this is happening is now the Hubble constant.

The Hubble Telescope is named after famed astronomer Edwin Hubble, who was born in Missouri in 1889 (pictured).

The Hubble Telescope is named after famed astronomer Edwin Hubble, who was born in Missouri in 1889 (pictured).

Hubble has made over 1.5 million observations since its mission began in 1990 and has helped publish about 18,000 scientific papers.

It orbits the Earth at about 17,000 miles per hour (27,300 km per hour) in low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles.

Hubble’s pointing accuracy is 0.007 arc seconds, which is the equivalent of being able to direct a laser beam focused on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s head at a distance of approximately 200 miles (320 km).

The Hubble Telescope is named after Edwin Hubble, who discovered the Hubble constant and is one of the greatest astronomers of all time.

The Hubble Telescope is named after Edwin Hubble, who discovered the Hubble constant and is one of the greatest astronomers of all time.

Hubble’s primary mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet 10.5 inches) in diameter and 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) in total length – the length of a large school bus.

The launch and deployment of Hubble in April 1990 marked the most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.

With five service missions and over 25 years of experience, our view of the universe and our place in it has never been the same.