J0806

J0806

Starbox begin
name=RX J0806.3+1527
Starbox image


caption=An artist's depiction of J0806.
Starbox observe
epoch=
constell=Cancer
ra=RA|08|06|23.20
dec=+15° 27' 30.20"
appmag_v=

- style="vertical-align: top;"
Cosmic distance ladder
1.600 Light-year
-! style="background-color: #FFFFC0;" colspan="2" | Binary orbit
- style="vertical-align: top;"
Period (P)
321.5 seconds
- style="vertical-align: top;"
Space between RX J0806 A and B:
0.0005 AUStarbox detail
mass=0.5 (primary) / 0.5 (b)
radius=
temperature=

J0806 (formally referred to as RX J0806.3+1527) is a binary star system about 1,600 light years away. It is comprised of two dense white dwarf stars orbiting each other once every 321.5 seconds, at an estimated distance of only 50,000 miles apart (about 1/5th the distance between the earth and the moon). The two stars orbit each other at speeds in excess of one million miles per hour. The stars are estimated to be about half as massive as our own sun, yet only the size of the earth, which contributes to their high density, which is typical of white dwarfs. Astronomers believe that the two stars will eventually merge, based on data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which shows that the orbital period of the two stars is steadily decreasing at a rate of 1.2 milliseconds per year as thus are getting closer by approximately two feet per year.

Observations

As J0806 is a pair of white dwarfs, it has a relatively low luminosity, and so can not be observed directly at this time. Instead, scientists make observations by recording the X-rays emitted. It is by this method that scientists were able to determine their orbital period as the magnitude of the x-rays spikes every 321.5 seconds.

Relation to general relativity

As this star system is losing its orbital energy, it is proof of Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity. This theory predicts that the stars will lose orbital energy by creating gravitational waves. Scientists believe that J0806 may be the largest source of gravity waves in the galaxy.

ources

* [http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap050601.html APOD 2005 June 1 - White Dwarf Star Spiral]
* [http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/news/releases/2005/05-078.html NASA Sees Orbiting Stars Flooding Space With Gravitational Waves]
* [http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/j0806/ RX J0806.3+1527: Orbiting Stars Flooding Space with Gravitational Waves]

Further reading

* [http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ApJ/journal/issues/ApJL/v593n1/17440/17440.html Phase Coherent Timing of RX J0806.3+1527 with ROSAT and Chandra]
* [http://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/www_astro/preprints/gtbr/rx0806_3.pdf.gz Monitoring the spin up in RX J0806+15]
* http://youtube.com/watch?v=ryqN6dyUmJg&feature=related
* http://jumk.de/astronomie/special-stars/rx-j0806.shtml


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