Scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have announced the detection of J2322 + 0509, a detached binary white dwarf consisting of two helium nucleus stars with a short orbital period. It is the first gravitational wave source of this kind ever discovered.
According to Dr. Warren Brown, CfA astronomer and lead author of the study, "theories predict that there are many double helium nucleus binary files for white dwarfs. This detection provides an anchor for these models and for future experiments so we can find more of them these stars and determine their true numbers. "The results of the study are published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The star will be used to review the much anticipated LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) gravitational wave observatory, which is slated to launch in 2034, Dr. Mukremin Kilic from the University of Oklahoma and co-author of the study. "Verification binaries are important because we know LISA will see them within weeks of turning on the telescope," said Kilic. "There are only a handful of LISA sources we know today. The discovery of the first prototype of a new class of verification binaries takes us far ahead of where anyone could have expected it to be."
Scientists discovered early on that J2322 + 0509 was a challenge for their studies. They gathered important information about the class of stars that will affect future scientific results in several ways. Optical light curve studies did not produce a result, Brown said. "This binary had no light curve. We couldn't see a photometric signal because there isn't one." Spectroscopic investigations, however, shaped the history of a difficult-to-recognize but scientifically important binary system and revealed its orbital movement.
"We find that the binary files that may be the most difficult to see are actually the strongest sources of gravitational waves," said Brown. "This binary was difficult to see because it is aimed at us like a porthole from the front, not from the edge. Remarkably, the gravitational waves of the binary are 2.5 times stronger with this orientation than with an orientation – like a darkness Binary file. "
The couple also found another surprise for researchers. With a round trip time of 1.201 seconds or a little over 20 minutes, it is confirmed that the pair has the third shortest time of all known detached binary files. "This pair is at the very end of stars with short orbits," said Brown. "And the orbit of this pair of objects is decreasing. The gravitational waves that are emitted cause the pair to lose energy. In six or seven million years, they will merge into a single, more massive white dwarf."
Spectroscopic data for J2322 + 0509 were collected using the MMT telescope at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Amado, Arizona; the Magellan Baade Telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile; and the Gemini North Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
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