White dwarf eats asteroid

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CalliArcale

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Kind of a neat article: A dead star seen snacking on shredded asteroid. This could be what our solar system will look like in a few billion years. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Nice link, thanx.<br /><br />MW <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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Thank you very much CalliArcale. Yes you are correct MeteorWayne. Very, very interesting article.<br /><br />Quite possibly a real insight in the final stage of the existance of our Solar System!!!<br /><br />The destroyed asteroid appears to be a type S (Silicate), asteroid similar to asteroids 243 Ida, 433 Eros & 951 Gaspra or the middle group of Jupiter's moons (Leda, Himalia, Lysithea & Elara) in our own solar system. This finding will have important infuences on our ideas of the formation of the solar system, let alone its destruction.<br /><br />You may like the image below. A scale model with the planet Saturn.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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Oops, your image is too big. I was supposed to watch out for that before approving it.... I'll fix. Your post will momentarily vanish; don't worry, I'll put it back. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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Hi CalliArcale. <br /><br />Thank you for not deleting my post. It is quite difficult to see how big an image can be. I thought I had sized it to about 450 x 420. Obviously not!!!!!!! <br /><br />I have found the below related article. I am quite fascinated by this 'system'!!!! <br /><br />Star: GD 362.<br />Constellation: Hercules. <br />Age as a White Dwarf: 900 million years. <br />Distance: 78 light-years. <br />Spectral class: DA. <br />Visual magnitude: 15.7. <br /><br />================================================================================== <br />Astronomers have glimpsed dusty debris around an essentially dead star where gravity and radiation should have long ago removed any sign of dust -- a discovery that may provide insights into our own solar system’s eventual demise several billion years from now. <br /><br />The results are based on mid-infrared observations made with the Gemini 8-meter Frederick C. Gillett Telescope (Gemini North) on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. The Gemini observations reveal a surprisingly high abundance of dust orbiting an ancient stellar ember named GD 362. <br /><br /><br />"This is not an easy one to explain," said Eric Becklin, UCLA astronomer and principle investigator for the Gemini observations. "Our best guess is that something similar to an asteroid or possibly even a planet around this long-dead star is being ground up and pulverized to feed the star with dust. The parallel to our own solar system’s eventual demise is chilling." <br /><br />"We now have a window to the future of our own planetary system," said Benjamin Zuckerman, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, member of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, and a co-author on the Gemini-based paper. "For perhaps the first time, we have a glimpse into how planetary systems like our own might behave billions of years from now." <br /><br />"The reason why this is so interesting is that this particular white dwarf has by far the most metals in its atmosphere of any known white dwarf," Zuckerma <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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weeman

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I would say that this could very well be a glimpse of how our own solar system will end! I am a little mixed up though. The original article says that GD 362 has been a white dwarf for about 900 million years. Yet in your post, 3488, it says that based on its cooling rate astronomers think its death was some 2-5 billion years ago?<br /><br />Some clarification on this is appreciated <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Techies: We do it in the dark. </font></strong></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>"Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.</strong><strong>" -Albert Einstein </strong></font></p> </div>
 
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alkalin

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A couple of observations:<br /><br />A star forms from the ISM that can contain much of the heaver elements and of course the main fuel, deuterium perhaps. I feel we just do not know that much about what goes on in the interior of stars. There could be very strong convection streams of matter going on as evidenced by a stars magnetic field, and some of the heavier material is carried to the surface all the time. Just look at the sun. It should be no surprise that there are heavy elements in its outer layers.<br /><br />Maybe I’m wrong, but having a dust ring around any body should no longer be a surprise either. Some of this tidal breakup matter can fall into the star, but most might not. Saturn is a good example. The way I see it is that there are many bodies that can come along and influence many parts of a star system. Space is not empty. That’s my two cents worth.<br /><br />A couple of questions:<br /><br />How might this infall help keep this star active?<br />Is there knowledge gained in this and what we learn from our sun that is possibly relevant now? Hint. There is global warming.<br />
 
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3488

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Hi weeman & alkalin.<br /><br />Firstly, the article (the second one I posted) was composed back in September 2005. Spitzer has re-examined GD 362 system more recently & the findings put the death of the original seven solar mass star at about 900 million years ago, rather than the 2 - 5 billion previously quoted. <br /><br />However, I still posted the article, because the rest of the information is still relevant.<br /><br />Very true. I am not at all surprised of a ring of dust. This ring of dust however does seem very specific to GD 362 itself, a former companion coming to grief!!<br /><br />The information gleamed from Spitzer shows a strong Silicate signature, not unlike type S (Silicate) asteroids in the main Asteroid Belt within our own solar system. This suggests a common origin for the disk material, rather than just an accumulation of intersteller dust, being trapped in orbit around the white dwarf. That is how I read it anyway!!!<br /><br />Granted, intersteller dust will be present, but it is more likely a very minor constituent.<br /><br />See these links about another star (an almost twin of Sirius a white main sequence star): Zeta Leporis in the constellation of Lepus the Hare. This star has a truly collosal asteroid belt, putting our own one in the shade (if orbiting our Sun the Zeta Leporis asteroid belt would stretch from just beyond Mars to well beyond Jupiter).<br /><br />Zeta Leporis Asteroid Belt.<br /><br />Back to the system in hand!! Perhaps prolonged observations of the GD 362 system may reveal surviving giant planets further out, still orbiting the white dwarf?? Just a thought!!<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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lukman

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Interesting stuff, 3488 do you think our sun will become white dwarf? why not big giant? nova? super nova? hyper nova? neutron star? brown dwarf. Or it is because the possibility to be a white dwarf is higher? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Yes, the mass of the sun pretty much determines that it will red giant->planetary nebula-> white dwarf. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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The Sun will become a white dwarf.<br /><br />Not too unlike Sirius B.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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alokmohan

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white dwarfs have 61 times density of platinum and have much more gravitational power.The keep on hogging.Poor chaps.
 
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arkady

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Eaten by a dwarf, pfft .. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> "<font color="#0000ff"><em>The choice is the Universe, or nothing</em> ... </font>" - H.G Wells </div>
 
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3488

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Interesting take on our own solar system's possible final days.<br /><br />I hope this mini system will not be forgotten about in professional circles.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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Update of GD 362.<br /><br />Thursday 16th August 2007.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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pyoko

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Sorry if i am off topic, but can someone tell me what happens to a white dwarf? It can't be a hot sphere forever. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p><span style="color:#ff9900" class="Apple-style-span">-pyoko</span> <span style="color:#333333" class="Apple-style-span">the</span> <span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span">duck </span></p><p><span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="color:#808080;font-style:italic" class="Apple-style-span">It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.</span></span></p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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Black Dwarf <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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pyoko

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So you could walk on it? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p><span style="color:#ff9900" class="Apple-style-span">-pyoko</span> <span style="color:#333333" class="Apple-style-span">the</span> <span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span">duck </span></p><p><span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="color:#808080;font-style:italic" class="Apple-style-span">It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.</span></span></p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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I imagine once it becomes a big chunk of carbon, bleeds off the rest of the residual heat, and you can tolerate the forces of gravity... I see no reason why not. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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pyoko

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Didn't they say its 'the size of the Earth'? Or is it just very dense like a black hole? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p><span style="color:#ff9900" class="Apple-style-span">-pyoko</span> <span style="color:#333333" class="Apple-style-span">the</span> <span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span">duck </span></p><p><span style="color:#339966" class="Apple-style-span"><span style="color:#808080;font-style:italic" class="Apple-style-span">It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.</span></span></p> </div>
 
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3488

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Density is the issue here. A white dwarf & in the far, far future black dwarf (see derekmcd's link)<br />will have a density of approx 1,000,000 Kg per square metre. With a density like that<br />an Earth sized Black Dwarf will have a surface gravity so great, that not only could <br />you not stand up, but your body would be crushed flat by its own weight. <br /><br />So walking on a black dwarf in the far future (the universe is not yet old <br />enough for white dwarves to have cooled to become black dwarves) is a real moot<br />point & is a non starter.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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Like Andrew alluded to... It is still the core of a dead star. It may have the diameter of Earth, but far, far more dense. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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