The dance of death

Here are a couple of cool videos showing tiny stars getting a bit too close for comfort!

The first one shows an artist’s impression of a pulsar; a tiny (but very heavy) neutron star which emits powerful radio waves whilst spinning 25 times a second! Its companion is a white dwarf star. Even though it’s been created by an artist, the video represents a real double object. This dashing duo are destined to crash into each other creating a giant space smash-up, known as a Type 1a supernova.

The second video is also an artist’s impression, based on real images captured by the Very Large Telescope. This time we’re looking inside a planetary nebula at a pair of white dwarf stars slowly merging together, on their way to becoming a Type 1a supernova. Both stars will die in a spectacular showdown of light. 

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