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ALL ASTRONOMICAL GRAPHICS: Magnetic White Dwarf Star

Magnetic White Dwarf Star picture

picture of magnetic white dwarf star. This image is 400 x 529 pixels; the original measures 2,000 x 2,643 pixels.

The one billion Gauss, ultra-massive, rapidly rotating, magnetic white dwarf star EUVEJ0317-855 is shown at the lower left and a larger, cooler, companion star at the upper left. The white dwarf acts like a particle accelerator when its magnetic field lines break up and accelerate particles to relativistic speeds. Electrons are shown spiralling out along these broken magnetic field lines. The white dwarf is a bizarre object that has been detected as a source of 2.2 million electron Volts gamma rays. The energy of these rays corresponds to the energy released when a neutron combines with a proton to form a deuterium nucleus (heavy hydrogen) in the atmosphere of the white dwarf.


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