Coolest White Dwarf Star May Be a Diamond in the Sky

One of the oddest things in the universe today may have been discovered by University of Wisconson-Milwaukee’s David Kaplan and his team. Using the National Radio Astronomy Observatory to release a statement, Kaplan said concerning the Diamond Dwarf star, “These things should be out there, but because they are so dim they are very hard to find.”

They have yet to get a visual on the white dwarf, which probably is the coldest ever discovered so far. The evasive star may only be about 4900 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much colder than our own Sun, and therefore much less bright.

The presence of this white dwarf is known not because of it’s own physical appeal, but because of it’s effects on a neighboring star it orbits. The other star is named PSR J2222-0137, and is a pulsar that sends out radio waves regularly. While studying it, scientists realized there was a periodic interruption whenever another object passed the pulsar. The pulsar and its companion reside somewhere near the constellation of Aquarius, and are appropriately unusual enough to fit in there.

white dwarf
White Dwarf Star

Our white dwarf of interest is indeed a theoretically likely star because of the manner in which white dwarfs tend to form. White dwarfs, which are also called degenerate dwarf, are the leftover portions of a star once it has used up its fuel. They are like the embers of the dying mass. They are very compact, with a smaller amount of mass but a great deal more density than they began with. They have no energy source of their own and lose leftover energy over time, probably to eventually become completely dark, at which time their new name would be black dwarf. However, scientists believe no black dwarfs exist yet because the universe is only 13.8 billion years old, and it would take longer than that for one to form.

But our diamond in the sky is well on its way, and will likely be joined by around 97 percent of the stars existing in the Milky Way galaxy alone. Some of the other elements that might get left behind in such stars include helium, oxygen, neon, or magnesium, and carbon may or may not be present in these.

If you want to know more about how stars are formed, check out the video below: