Exoplanets are experiencing stellar cataclysm

Source: SAAO

Large South African Telescope (Southern African Large Telescope) — the largest optical instrument in the southern hemisphere, allowed astronomers to make important discovery. For the first time a planet, or rather, just two found circulating around the exotic object — cataclysmic variable.

Most of the exoplanets discovered revolves around single stars. However, astronomers now know of cases where hostesses Planets star couple, white and brown dwarfs, and recently proved the existence altogether "Homeless" exoplanets.

Family cataclysm

Cataclysmic variables astrophysics called double stars with very short orbital period. In such systems, low-mass component, usually red dwarf fills its Roche lobe and pours out his own stuff on the second component — a heavy white dwarf. As the infalling matter has a certain viscosity and angular momentum, the matter does not fall directly on the white dwarf, but forms an accretion disk around it.

To cataclysmic variables there are different kinds of flare activity. Outbreaks of mass transport can be born to one of the components, unstable flow of matter and thermonuclear reactions on the white dwarf. Every fifth known cataclysmic variables — is polar, in such systems the white dwarf is strongly magnetized and rotates synchronously with the star-companion. To study these objects most convenient when the beam of the ground observer is in the plane of rotation of the two components, that is, the system is eclipsing.

One such eclipse (and we know there are only 15) objects is the polar UZ Fornacis, the orbital period is equal to two minutes.

Polar children

Observing this object, Dr. Stephen Potter (Stephen Potter) with colleagues from the South African Astronomical Observatory (South African Astronomical Observatory) found that the two components of the mutual eclipses occur sporadically. "The presence of the two planets is the real solution to this problem," — said Potter. According to scientists, the planet, causing disturbances in their "parents" are periods of 5 and 16 years, and a lot of — 6 and 8, respectively, the mass of Jupiter. Scientists are not completely sure of his discovery, the two planets must confirm further observations.

"If it is confirmed that the disturbances are born the third and fourth body, it can be argued that these planets are born either in total protostellar envelope of the system, or in the disk formed from that shell," — said Potter.

Source: http://www.infox.ru/science/universe/2011/06/15/Kataklizmichyeskiye_.phtml

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