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Astronomy: Discovering a trace of an entangled planet near a white dwarf star

Astronomy: Discovering a trace of an entangled planet near a white dwarf star

A research group using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) has found for the first time a trace of an exoplanet that was swallowed by a white dwarf star. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has now announced this. The group talks about a “metallic scar” on the surface of the celestial body that emerged from a sun-like star. This metal comes from part of a planet that is approximately the same size as the planet Vesta, with a diameter of 500 kilometers, and is the second largest asteroid in the solar system. Surprisingly, the matter is not distributed over the entire star, but rather concentrated in one area. This is probably due to the star's magnetic field.


The “scar” is detected using the FORS2 general purpose tool on the VLT, The research team explains. They discovered that the chemical signature of the star's elements, called WD 0816-310, changes periodically, as does its magnetic field. The group interprets this to mean that the metal elements are concentrated in one place as they are bombarded with the same magnetic field and are now held in place. “You've never seen anything like this before,” says co-author John Landstrey of the University of Western Ontario. In a sense, the last remnants of the celestial body entangled in the dead star can be seen. White dwarfs are the slowly burning remnants of Sun-like stars that are known to be capable of fusing parts of a planetary system.

This discovery was only possible thanks to the unique set of instruments of the European Southern Observatory. This is the only way to measure faint objects such as white dwarf stars and their magnetic fields with such precision. However, this is not the first discovery of metal contamination of such stars, which has been attributed to broken planets or asteroids. In the case of WD 0816-310, the research group is certain that the material was ionized and directed by the magnetic field to the magnetic poles, where it has now been found. In principle, this is similar to the process by which the northern lights are formed on Earth and other planets. Research work It was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.


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