White dwarf boosts light of stellar companion

White dwarf boosts light of stellar companion

Rare gravitational lens in binary system may reveal properties of exotic stars

By Christopher Crockett, 17:10 PM April 16, 2014

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Astronomers have discovered a unique pair of stars consisting of a white dwarf, the compact core of a dead star, and the sunlike star it orbits. When the white dwarf passes in front of its companion, as seen from Earth, the white dwarf’s gravity magnifies the other star’s light. The pair represents the first clear sign of a gravitational lens in a binary star.

The white dwarf — with a mass about 60 percent of the sun’s  and a volume not much bigger than Earth’s  — orbits a sun do...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/white-dwarf-boosts-light-stellar-companion