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Astronomers catch a white dwarf turning itself on and off


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Astronomers using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) were studying a white dwarf in a binary star system when they suddenly caught it turning itself "on and off" over the course of as few as 30 minutes.

The researchers, lead by Dr. Simone Scaringi at the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, at Durham University, UK, were studying how the white dwarf accreted material – a fancy way of saying gobbling up – from its stellar partner when they observed the brightness of the white dwarf suddenly plummet.


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