Astronomers in the United States have detected for the first time a two-star system of two independent white dwarfs, called J2322-0509, with a short orbital period of 1201 seconds, and is producing gravitational waves, the first of its kind identified by scientists, SpaceX reported. This latest discovery could help improve our understanding of such binary systems and gravitational wave sources.
White dwarfs are the core left behind by sun-like stars running out of fuel. For years, researchers have predicted the existence of a binary system of two white dwarfs. General relativity states that two objects orbiting each other release energy in the form of gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are like ripples in space-time.
Now, scientists’ predictions are finally coming true! In a new study, researchers at Harvard University’s Center for Astrophysics (CFA) have discovered for the first time a binary system of two white dwarfs, and theoretically, it is a strong source of gravitational waves.
“The theory predicts the existence of many helium-core binary dwarf systems, and the latest research provides an anchor for these models and future experiments that allow us to discover more of these stars and determine their true number,” said CFA astronomer Warren Brown, lead author of the study. “
Brown explained that the binary system does not have a luminous curve and therefore cannot detect photos, so instead of using photosofability studies, they use spectroscopy to observe the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation, such as visible light, to determine the orbital motion of a star.
“Although the system is difficult to find, we have found theoretically that this binary system is a very strong source of gravitational waves, ” Brown stressed. “
Researchers say the latest research will not only improve our understanding of these binary systems and gravitational wave sources, but could also help scientists verify the efficiency of the “laser interferometry space antenna” (LISA). LISA will be launched in 2034, when it will be able to make basic observations of J2322-0509, after all, we already know that it exists.
The researchers concluded that because the binary system was releasing gravitational waves, its energy was also being lost, and that six or seven million years later, they would be merged into a larger white dwarf, and scientists hope to discover the gravitational waves it releases. (Reporter Liu Xia)
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There are all sorts of strange members in the sky that have yet to be discovered. There are many kinds of binary systems: stars and stars, stars and black holes, and the combination of white dwarfs and white dwarfs challenges our imaginations. There should be many objects in the depths of the universe that “feel only heavy, not flash” that we could only capture through faint indirect optical signals. Now with a series of new gravitational wave detection devices, such as LIGO, we may find that galaxies are denser and more diverse than we thought.