The epic of Ef Eridanus. A cosmic love story.
I'm Bob Karson with "The Discovery Files" -- new advances in science and
engineering from the National Science Foundation.
Half a billion years ago, three hundred light years away,
there lived a vivid shining star, normal in every way.
Just outside its orbit, a bright light caught its eye...
a burned out core, a dense white dwarf, was drawing ever nigh.
It seemed our lonely star had left the single life behind.
These binary stars cavorted in space, their orbits now entwined.
The two drew ever closer in the dwarf's gravitational field.
As the star reached out to caress its mate, at last its fate was sealed.
The evil white dwarf sapped the star's strength, its life, its very mass.
A fading lump that ceased to shine...a star no longer, alas!
In this recently-observed, true stellar story, the star crossed lover was reduced to a strange inert body resembling no known star type. And like our poetic interpretation, defies classification.
"The Discovery Files" covers projects funded by the government's National Science Foundation. Federally sponsored research -- brought to you, by you! Learn more at nsf.gov.