Billions of white dwarf stars are crystallising, say astronomers

White dwarf star in the process of solidifying. Pic University of Warwick  Mark Garlick

White dwarf star in the process of solidifying. Pic University of Warwick Mark Garlick

Modeling work suggested that the pileup was caused by crystallization of the white dwarfs' interiors, which released enough heat to slow down the white dwarfs' cooling over time. This means that the sky really is there are millions of diamond spheres, - said Pier-Emmanuel Direction from Warwick University.

Tremblay said their studies suggested that white dwarfs stop their cooling by turning from liquid to almost 99 per cent solid over about 1.5 billion years.

In this study, the astronomers analysed more than 15 000 stellar remnant candidates within 300 light years of Earth as observed by Gaia and were able to see these crystallising white dwarfs as a rather distinct group.

When that process comes to an end, the sun will enter the white dwarf stage, which is essentially a retired star made up primarily of oxygen and carbon gas.

The study, published in the journal Nature, represents the first direct evidence of white dwarfs transitioning from a liquid to a solid state.

They distinguished a heap up, an excess in the number of stars at explicit colors and luminosities that don't compare to any single mass or age.

Though they look serene and silent from our vantage on Earth, stars are actually roiling balls of violent plasma. Red dwarfs, the most common type of star, keep burning until they have transformed all their hydrogen into helium, turning into a white dwarf.

Julian Castro to announce 2020 presidential campaign decision
Beto O'Rourke, who narrowly lost a Senate bid past year , is also weighing a run and has been on the rise in very early polls. If he had a disappointment, he said, it was that is grandmother, who died when he was younger, could not be there to see him.

Astronomers at the University of Warwick have found first direct evidence of white dwarf stars solidifying into crystals and our skies are filled with them. It was predicted fifty years ago that we should observe a pile-up in the number of white dwarfs at certain luminosities and colours due to crystallisation and only now this has been observed.

White-dwarf crystallization is akin to water freezing from liquid to ice. But as the star cools, that fluid solidifies and creates a metal core.

He said the Sun was expected to become a white dwarf and experience crystallisation between 8 and 14 billion years from now.

That, in turn, has an impact on our understanding of the stellar groupings these white dwarfs are a part of. Astronomers generally age these stellar corpses by taking their temperature, and crystallization slows the cooling-off process.

Not all white dwarfs crystallise at the same pace.

"With Gaia we now have the distance, brightness and colour of hundreds of thousands of white dwarfs for a sizeable sample in the outer disc of the Milky Way, spanning a range of initial masses and all kinds of ages". As for our Sun, the researcher and his colleagues estimate that it will undergo the crystallization process in around 10 billion years, give or take.

"The sun itself will become a crystal white dwarf in about 10 billion years", added Dr Tremblay, reminding us that these crystals - although a new discovery - are the usual end for stars.

Recommended News

  • The red Galaxy S10 model may have been scrapped by Samsung

    The red Galaxy S10 model may have been scrapped by Samsung

    The Galaxy Unpacked event will be live streamed via the company's official website www.samsung.com/galaxy. Samsung recently launched photography-focused phones like Galaxy A7 which has a triple-camera setup.
    DeSantis Suspends Sheriff After Poor Response To Parkland Shooting

    DeSantis Suspends Sheriff After Poor Response To Parkland Shooting

    In the weeks following the shooting, Israel argued that he had "given wonderful leadership" and placed blame on his deputies. Flanked by his supporters and his wife Susan, Israel said he will be fighting his suspension .
    Google pulls plug on Chromecast Audio

    Google pulls plug on Chromecast Audio

    That was an unofficial claim, but things changed today with confirmation from Google that Chromecast Audio is officially over. Google released the Chromecast Audio as a way to stream music to a speaker that doesn't have a WiFi connection.
  • Brie Larson and Alex Greenwald end engagement

    Brie Larson and Alex Greenwald end engagement

    Brie Larson has reportedly called off her engagement to her fiancé of almost 3 years, actor and musician Alex Greenwald . That same year, Alex accompanied Brie to some of the big award shows, including the Golden Globes and the Oscars .
    USA  federal shutdown becomes longest in history

    USA federal shutdown becomes longest in history

    The standoff has led to a partial government shutdown that has now lasted 21 days, tying the record for the longest in US history. Experts at New York University's Brennan Center have identified more than 130 he could argue - two of which, Title 10 U.S.
    BoC holds the line on rates

    BoC holds the line on rates

    The ideal storm of falling oil prices, a dovish Bank of Canada, a stock market meltdown and a somewhat hawkish U.S. These developments are occurring in the context of a Canadian economy that has been performing well overall.
  • Weather Authority: Light snow overnight

    Weather Authority: Light snow overnight

    Travel will be slick and hazardous over the entire area with deeper snow and more hard conditions the farther south you go. Snow showers will linger after midnight and could still be falling early on Saturday with little additional accumulation.
    Talks continue to break impasse over pipeline construction in northern BC

    Talks continue to break impasse over pipeline construction in northern BC

    Police officers were literally imposing a B.C. court order approved in favor of TransCanada Corp. subsidiary Coast GasLink. "I come from residential (school), I come from the '60s Scoop", said Joseph, 61. "And that's not right".
    Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Expected, Research Says

    Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Expected, Research Says

    Overall, temperatures in the ocean down to 2,000 metres rose about 0.1 degree Celsius (0.18F) from 1971-2010, he said. The latest findings disprove, therefore, previous reports that the warming in the past few years, have exposed.
  • Ivanka Trump among possible World Bank nominees

    Ivanka Trump among possible World Bank nominees

    The Treasury Department told AFP on Friday it was not going to make statements about potential candidates. The Financial Times reported that Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump is being considered for the role.
    Ring reportedly gave employees access to customer video feeds

    Ring reportedly gave employees access to customer video feeds

    Ring's lax security practices began with its Ukraine-based research and development team, according to the Intercept . A report claims that Ring employees had nearly nonrestricted access to customer's video feed and recorded clips.
    Michael Owen states his prediction for Tottenham v Man United

    Michael Owen states his prediction for Tottenham v Man United

    And to have the possibility to see him every day is massive. "He is an encyclopaedia of football". The days of United signing Spurs' best players also appear over.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.