White dwarf core crystallization

Last year we published in Nature the most comprehensive evidence that white dwarf stars, at the end of their lives, solidify into crystals!

The research is best summarized in this quote from Deborah Netburn of The Los Angeles Times: “New research suggests that long after our roiling, boiling life-giving star runs out of fuel, it will slowly transform into a cold, dead, super-dense crystal sphere about the size of Earth that will linger like a translucent tombstone for close to eternity.”

An artist’s illustration of a white dwarf in the process of solidifying (credit University of Warwick/Mark Garlick).

The manuscript was led by Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay at the University of Warwick, and was made possible by the excellent data from the second data release of the Gaia mission. Another write-up of the results can be found here: https://twitter.com/jotajotahermes/status/1083068794455707648?s=20.

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