Ideal Source of Ggravitational Waves

A team of American and Spanish astronomers led by Warren Brown from Harvard University in the United States found two white dwarf that form a binary system J0651, at a distance of 3.26 thousand light-years from Earth, and that should be a powerful source of gravitational waves. One of the stars of J0651 is with the size of Neptune and the mass of a quarter of a solar mass, the second is with the size of the Earth and the solar mass in  the half. They move at a speed exceeding 600 kilometers per second. The system make one revolution in 13 minutes. The rapid changes in the speed of two such massive objects should cause fluctuations of space-time, that is to produce gravitational waves, whose existence is predicted by general relativity.

J0651 system can provide the first direct evidence for the existence of gravitational waves. Relative to the observer on the Earth’s surface, one star closes another every six minutes. Such a strict periodicity allows scientists to record any changes in the state of the system with very high accuracy. This allows using it as a “standard” to test the detectors of gravitational radiation.

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