PerspectiveAstronomy

White Dwarf Mergers and the Rebirth of Luminous Stars

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  28 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5577, pp. 2344-2345
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073695

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

White dwarfs are formed when stars have exhausted their ability for thermonuclear fusion. Models predict that helium white dwarfs (one of the two types of known white dwarfs) should not yet exist in our Galaxy. In his Perspective, Heber discusses recent studies on alternative formation pathways for these enigmatic species. He concludes that mergers of white dwarf binaries are strong candidates but other formation pathways may also exist.