Sydney, Australia – A group of scientists detected a “vampire” star located about 3,000 light years from Earth that is sucking the material of a brown dwarf nova, which has a mass ten times smaller, according to a study released today.
The discovery consists of two stars, one of which is a white dwarf that takes material from its companion, in this case the brown star, which is an intermediate body that is not large enough to initiate nuclear combustion and become a true star.
This could be the future of our solar system in billions of years if the Sun becomes a white dwarf and begins to suck Jupiter’s energy, according to the authors of the scientific work published in the scientific journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society .
The data obtained by the Kepler space telescope reveals how in a period of 30 days the white dwarf nova became 1,600 times brighter before quickly dimming and returning to its normal brightness.
The white dwarf “is inside our galaxy (Milky Way) about 3,000 light years away. In the sky it is close to the constellation Scorpio, ”said the director of this study, Ryan Ridden-Harpe, a doctoral candidate at the Australian National University (ANU).
The finding shows that these star bodies approach by transferring energy to the white dwarf, which is a star that has depleted its nuclear fuel. Something that will happen to the Sun in billions of years.
“This rare event was the product of a super burst of a dwarf nova, which can be considered a vampire star system,” said Ridden-Harper, in a statement from the ANU.
“The peak of brightness was caused by the material torn from the brown dwarf wrapping around the white dwarf in a disk. That disk reached 11,700 degrees Celsius at the peak of the explosion, ”said Ridden-Harper, who worked with colleagues at the ANU and the Space Telescope Science Institute and the University of Notre Dame in the United States.
The Kepler telescope, launched by NASA in 2009, was removed in 2018 by the space agency when it depleted its fuel in the solar orbit.