n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - News Note : Dwarf-Star Wars: the revenge of the degenerates

Volume 76 Number 1-2
  • ISSN : 0024-8266



A bizarre binary star system (se cover picture) has been discovered where a degenerate white dwarf pulsar is “lashing” its red dwarf companion with its strong magnetic field and beamed radiation every minute as it spins on its axis. This is the conclusion reached by a small team of three South African and two UK astronomers who have just published a paper in the new journal Nature Astronomy, announcing their discovery of strongly polarized pulsed optical emission from a white dwarf, a so-called degenerate star, in the binary system known as AR Scorpii, establishing it to be a white dwarf pulsar.

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