Friday, June 6, 2008

White Dwarfs

The White Dwarfs Among Us

Agent Abra asks us to let her know if we see an albino dwarf, or white dwarf, as we astrophysicists call them. According to well established intelligence we should be very careful around the brightest of stars, Sirius. Sirius has a tiny, you got it, white dwarf companion called Sirius B! On the star map above you'll be able to locate approximately where it is. And stay clear of that area!

Please, also note that white dwarfs has their limits. Chandrasekhar limit to be exact (1.44 solar masses). Should the limit be crossed we could all be in great danger as the white dwarf will transform itself into a neutron star or even worse. If the limit is crossed substantially, say more than 3 solar masses, then the white dwarf will turn into a black hole and WE ARE ALL DOOMED!

White Dwarfs in M4

And Abra, do pay attention when you are in M4. As you can see there are plenty of White Dwarfs lurking around in that area.

I'm very glad to learn that you escaped that horrible dwarf. We don't know if it was a potential black hole you dealt with...

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