AR Scorpio is the home of the first white dwarf pulsar (energy star) discovered in history, and it cruelly mocks its red dwarf partner.
Astronomers understood the truth of the tangent white dwarf, who was accused of cruelty to his red comrade. The binary nature of Scorpion's AR was revealed when the Hubble Space Telescope carefully looked at the estimated variable star, located 380 light-years from Earth. It turned out that there are two whole stars, and this speaks of a binary system consisting of tiny white and red dwarfs whose orbit is 8,000,000 miles distant (three times the distance Earth-Moon).
Excessively bright radiation pulses in all bands of the electromagnetic spectrum were puzzling. And it remained a mystery until Hubble realized that the white dwarf was in tow and was driving the first object with his impulses. It turned out that he somehow activated the binary system, causing a rapid acceleration of electrons, which created a powerful radiation beam when the dwarf turns around once every two minutes. And this beam inexorably hits the red object.
With a magnetic field 100 million times larger than a terrestrial, white dwarf is almost a forced accelerator of elementary particles, and its every rotation creates something like a beacon with a beam directed towards us. And we notice this signal in the form of regular pulses. “It's just a giant magnet, the size of the Earth, whose field is 10,000 times stronger than any reproducible in the laboratory,” said Boris Gansik of the University of Warwick. “It charges his neighbor with a huge amount of electrical current, which we see as a change in light.”
The classic pulsars consist of more compact neutron stars, which are produced after a massive star transforms into a supernova. The entire stellar magnetic field is kept on the fast rotation of the neutron star, which then generates powerful radiation from the poles. As the pulsar spins, we observe these precise flashes.
Although white dwarfs are created after the death of a star, they are not produced by supernovae. Stars smaller than ours Sun do not explode at the end of their lives like red ones. When the cycle is completed, the star remnant remains - a white dwarf that resembles the Earth in size. And before that, no such object with the properties of pulsars was found.
“The new data shows that the Scorpion AR light has a high degree of polarization, demonstrating the fact that the magnetic field controls the radiation of the entire system,” said Tom Marsh of the University of Warwick.