Star Crossed Stars Doomed…An Astronomical Love Story For Valentines Day.

Just like a Shakespearian play, the two white dwarf stars in Henize 2-428 are circling each other toward a deadly embrace.

Stellar partnership doomed to end in catastrophe

Each of the white dwarf stars have a little less mass than the Sun.

In about 700 million years the stars will merge into a Type 1a supernova, destroying both stars in a fiery final embrace.

Normally at the end of the life of a star like our Sun, the white dwarf stage is fairly permanent.   However, these two are doomed to produce another spectacular event.

A tragedy worthy of the Bard’s ballad:

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona Henize, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.

Romeo And Juliet Prologue, 1–8

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

A Different Type of Diamond Ring.

Usually when I am talking about a diamond ring, it is in reference to a solar eclipse.

Image Credit. Alson Wong

The spectacular effect happens twice during the event, and eclipse chasers look for it.  To take pictures like the one above, you need to be very experience.

Chance meeting creates celestial diamond ring

However, the ESO has found a new diamond ring in the sky. In a very rare occurrence, a star, named HD 83535, the Earth and Abell 33, a planetary nebula all aligned to form an image to rival the eclipse’s ring.  This is even more unusual in the fact that Abell 33 is still mostly round.  Most planetary nebula have irregular shapes due to gravitational interaction with the space around them.  So far, Abell 33 is relatively undisturbed.

Abell 33 is the remains of a star similar to our sun that blew off its mass and became a white dwarf star about the size of the Earth.  That means that the star went from being about  1,000,000 times the size of the Earth, to 0.00001% of its former size.  Considering that the star, if similar to our sun, was about 99% of all the mass in the system, a lot of matter was expelled into space.

I think I need to invent the white dwarf diet.  I’d make a killing in the industry.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman