Rapid gas flares discovered in white dwarf star for the first time


Oxford University Scientists discover very unusual sight for the first time. A rapid gas flares from the white dwarf binary star system make our current star habits understanding  incomplete.

About White Dwarf

Dwarf Novae, SS Cyg-like objects, which contain a Sun-like star orbiting a white dwarf star well known for their repeated, low-level, bursting behavior. This is called outbursts. This outbursts previously seen in white dwarfs, neutron stars and even enormous black holes.

Initial observations of the SS Cyg activity in February 2016 considered an atypical outburst. But later telescopic analysis uncovered the intriguing revelation of rapid flares. The most fascinating and unexpected behaviour observed at radio wavelengths towards the end of the outburst, when a “giant” flare observed. Lasting for less than 15 minutes, it had the energy of more than a million times the strongest solar flares. The level of radio data recorded from the flare is unprecedented in dwarf nova systems . It consistent with that expected from a jet.

White Dwarf

Dr. Kunal Mooley, Astrophysics research fellow at Oxford University, who led the research, said:

“Many of astrophysics’ most compelling studies havebeen based on studying SS Cyg. The latest, a detection of a rapid, radio flare – especially a fast, bright flare towards the end of the outburst, is highly unusual and demonstrates that there may even be some new physics at play. We expected to see slow variation flares, but found fast, rapid, cone-like spikes of activity and observed an enormous amount of energy being released in a time-span as short as ten minutes. Nothing like this has ever been seen before in a dwarf nova system.

“Moving forward, theorists should work with observers to find the answer to why these rapid flares occurred in SS Cyg. To really understand the process of gas accretion and gas expulsion in white dwarf systems – especially dwarf novae, similar studies should carried out on other astrophysical systems.”


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