A white dwarf star, just imaged by a team at the University of Warwick, has a bright red ring circling it, created by the dead star’s oblitertion of space debris that orbits overly close. The rock ring circling the white dwarf star is composed of rock and dust particles. The new photo shows an asteroid destroyed by the star’s gravitational forces and sent in to an orbit around the star.
The work was compiled by a group of researchers in the university’s Astrophysics Dept. The leader of the research team stated:
The diameter of the gap inside of the rock ring is about half the size of the Sun.
The reddish glow is caused by ultraviolet light from within the star. Although scientists have been aware for some decades that these debris rings exist, this is the first time a group has been able to capture imagery of the ring type, giving scientists unprecedented access to the data.
The photograph of the rings is a composite of a number of images taken utilizing Doppler tomography.. Using this system, the scientists were able to capture certain aspects of the structure that would not have been captured using a single photo.
This photo is a glimpse of what our own solar system will look like in the distant future.