SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Milky Way Twin, "Exomoon," More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Milky Way Twin,
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September 3, 2009--A massive but tiny white dwarf (bottom left) steals matter from the bright star HD 49798 in an artist's conception. Scientists have been searching for the source of mysterious x-rays near HD 49798 since 1997.

Now the European satellite XMM-Newton has revealed that the x-rays are coming from the rapidly rotating white dwarf, the remnants of a dead star. This particular white dwarf is just half the size of Earth but packs in slightly more mass than the sun. Because of the star's high mass, astronomers think the white dwarf will explode as a supernova in about a million years.
—Image courtesy ESA
 
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