November 01, 2022
A pair of stars with the shortest orbital period detected to date has been discovered by astronomers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. According to astronomers, the stars appear to orbit each other every 51 minutes. Named ZTF J1813+4251, this system belongs to a rare class of stars called a ‘cataclysmic variable’ in which a star like the sun circles a white dwarf—the core of a burned-out star that is dense and hot.
When the two stars come close to each other over billions of years, the super-dense white dwarf starts eating material away from the companion star, giving rise to a cataclysmic variable system. According to scientists, the stars will move closer to each other
in the next 70 million years.
Did You Know?
The most common stars in the universe are red dwarfs.