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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Discovered an Earth-sized diamond

Instead of pretending to poetic when astronomers said, 'This star is a diamond'. The heavenly bodies indeed true a giant gem that has an Earth-sized.

Scientists have recently identified what is probably the coldest white dwarf ever detected. White dwarfs are considered as the end point of the evolution of a star and a star's core where fusion takes place. Or in other words, the final form of burned out after presumed dead.
An artist’s conception of a white dwarf star in orbit with pulsar PSR J2222-0137. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1lOjh2T)
The faint stars 'bodies' are so cold, that makes the whole carbon crystallized. Or effectively forming an Earth-sized diamonds. "It is a remarkable object," said David Kaplan, the leader of the study and professor of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in a statement issued by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), as quoted from SPACE on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. "Objects that certainly there, but because it is so dim, it is hard to find."

Kaplan and his colleagues could find the existence of the cosmic jewel is more striking thanks to its companion. The white dwarf orbital doing a dance with a pulsar - a neutron star that rotates rapidly, which is formed from a supernova explosion that sends radio waves flow like a lighthouse beam.
An image taken in visible light at the SOAR telescope of the field of the pulsar/white dwarf pair. The exact location of the white dwarf is known to a pixel. But it’s not there. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1lOjh2T)
It called PSR J2222-0137, the pulsar is located at location 900 light-years away from Earth, near the constellation Aquarius. Its existence for the first time detected belong NRAO Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

Astronomers realized that the radio signals from PSR J2222-0137 is sometimes hindered due to the companion object passes in front of it. By studying what was the barrier using the Very Large Baseline Array (VLBA) help scientists determine that the pulsar has a mass 1.2 times that of our sun. Meanwhile, the companion has a mass 1.05 times of the Sun.

The team suspected that the pulsar companion is a white dwarf, or a solid core remaining after the death of a star. Sure that the object can be detected using infrared rays, the researchers scan wearing Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR) in Chile and 10 meters in diameter Keck telescopes in Hawaii. However, there is no instrument that can detect it.

"Based on radio observations, we know exactly where to look. So, we direct the SOAR there and collect light for 2.5 hours," said Bart Dunlap, a member of the team who is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The final image obtained team, the companion 100 times more pale than any white dwarf orbiting the neutron star and 10 times more pale than white dwarfs known. "But we did not see anything. If there is a white dwarf in there, it's almost certain to be very cold."

When talking about the object of, 'cold' is a relative term. White dwarf itself is still smoldering with the temperature 2,700 degrees Celsius. But that means 5,000 times cooler than the core of the Sun.

Scientists say it will crystallize cold star carbon, similar to a diamond. Astronomers have a theory, objects like that there are many in the universe. However, 'diamond star' it is difficult to detect because it looks so sketchy. The study of this findings was published in the Astrophysical Journal. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SPACE]
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