View Full Version : Discussion: Tightest Binary System Discovered

2004-Sep-04, 04:31 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers have discovered a pair of white dwarf stars that revolve around each other at a distance of only 80,000km (1/5th the distance between the Earth and the Moon) - the closest binary system ever discovered. The system, known as RX J0806.3+1527, was investigated with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT), and observers noticed that the object dimmed once every five minutes suggesting a binary system.

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2004-Sep-04, 08:32 PM
This is an older story, but I wonder what would happen if the 2 white dwarf stars combined? Explosion, collapse to a black hole or neutron star, or a combination maybe?

2004-Sep-04, 09:18 PM
I've seen a paper about simulations of such events. Essentially it depends on the masses of the two white dwarfs. There should be a lot of material thrown off, and a lot of runaway fusion of Carbon & Oxygen into Magnesium etc. Boom.

2004-Sep-04, 11:03 PM
It would be neat to see a paper where something like this was seen to occur. Man, that would be some BOOM hey! :ph34r: