Dwarfs driven wave: crushing space-time

September 11, 2012 17:34

Watching a distant star as a couple, have seen signs that in its rotation, it really creates a subtle ripples of space-time, long-awaited gravitational waves.

The system was named SDSS J065133.338 +284423.37 (or J0651, for short). It is quite dense and small stars, white dwarfs that were once solar-type stars. They are located very close to each other, three times closer than the Moon to the Earth, and make a complete turn in a matter of 13 minutes. Watching them in the optical range, the team of American astronomers noticed periodic changes in the emission, which may be associated with the effect of gravitational waves produced by this rotation.

Perhaps, it is worth recalling that gravitational waves — one of the most important consequences of the general theory of relativity. These perturbations of the gravitational field at the speed of light. Just fix it, despite all attempts, still can not: too small, this ripple. However, observations of the other system, including more dense remains of stars (neutron stars and pulsars) have shown that the rotation of accelerating, indirectly suggesting that the dual system creates gravitational waves.

Indeed, in the theory of gravitational waves should always take energy out of the system, causing the star to rotate all closer to each other and as a result accelerate. The same happened during the observation of J0651, which began in April 2011: the stars began to make a complete revolution around each other a little more often.

I wonder how things will develop in J0651. The calculations predict that because of the constant "leak" energy white dwarfs will always converge and accelerate, so that in April 2013, a full revolution will require up to 20 seconds less than in April 2011. This can be verified.

Moreover, the theory says that in two million years, they will be so close to each other that simply merge. It is also possible to check — if humanity through two million years will still be possible, or if such a check at all necessary.

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