For the first time in history, astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a white dwarf. It is comparable in size to Jupiter and has an orbital period of 34 hours.
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White dwarfs are formed during the evolution of stars such as the Sun. First, they transform into red giants, from which, after shedding the shell, a dense incandescent core remains. It gradually begins to cool down, since it has no sources of thermonuclear energy. White dwarfs most often do not exceed the size of the Earth. Scientists were surprised to find a planet larger than the remnant of its star using the NASA TESS space telescope. In addition, it remains unclear how she was able to avoid destruction at all.
To make sure that this is a planet, and not a star, experts studied its infrared radiation using another Spitzer space telescope. The planet's maximum temperature is 17 ℃, which is comparable to the average annual temperature of the Earth. Researchers believe she managed to survive, because the gravity of the white dwarf took effect after the star passed the red giant stage. Otherwise, the destruction of the planet could not have been avoided. According to Ian Crossfield, an assistant professor at the University of Kansas, experts are trying to find such objects, since they may be habitable.
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