Artist's depiction of the SDSS 1212 interacting binary system

Artist's depiction of the SDSS 1212 interacting binary system. The gravity of the white dwarf is so strong it distorts the shape of the brown dwarf-like companion and rips material from the surface of its 'donor.' The stream of matter is accelerated in the strong gravitational and magnetic fields of the white dwarf, finally striking its surface at 10% of the velocity of light. The impacting stream causes a hot accretion spot on the white dwarf, generating copious cyclotron radiation; responsible in part for the excess near-infrared radiation seen at wavelengths greater than 1.8 microns (see geminiann08006b).

Credit:

International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/University of Liecester (UK)/Mark A

About the Image

Id:geminiann08006a
Type:Artwork
Release date:Feb. 19, 2008, 2:06 p.m.
Related announcements:geminiann08006
Size:500 x 352 px

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