It is barely larger than our own natural satellite. However, it is more massive than the Sun. At just 2,100 kilometers in radius, it ranks as one of the smallest stars ever discovered in the known Universe. With all of the above, the newly discovered white dwarf caught the attention of the astronomers who found it.
With a magnetic field more powerful than Earth's and a mass greater than that of the Sun, the smallest known white dwarf is intriguing.
With just 600 kilometers more in radius than the Moon, this celestial object is the most massive known of its kind. Astronomers estimate that could have 1.3 times the mass of the sun. According to the research conducted, this condition is because they shrink as they gain mass.
“That is not the only very surprising feature of this white dwarf,” noted astrophysicist Ilaria Caiazzo. “It is also spinning fast.” It is estimated to make one complete revolution around its axis every seven minutes, an impressive speed for its size. Not only that: it has a more powerful magnetic field than Earth’s, and scientists still don’t know why.
Estimates from the Zwicky Transitional Facility at the Palomar Observatory in California suggest that the smallest white dwarf observed so far is located about 130 light-years from our planet. It was localized for its unusual brightness and has been intrigued by its unique characteristics.
So far, it is known that it was possibly born from the common orbit between two other white dwarfs. Due to their proximity, they eventually merged to create the same entity, with a mass much higher than average. This convergence, astrophysicists say, could explain the fact that it rotates so fast and has such a strong magnetic field. According to the study, over time it might not support its weight and explode.