Astronomers have seen dying stars slowly crystallise and turn solid

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White dwarfs are the remnants of dying stars

White dwarfs are the remnants of dying stars

NASA, ESA, H. Bond (STScI) and M. Barstow (University of Leicester)

The dying remnants of burnt-out stars slowly crystallise as they cool – and we have just seen the process in action for the first time.

When sun-like stars use up their fuel, they become dense white dwarf stars and continue to cool down over billions of years. Similar to how vapour turns into water then ice as the temperature drops, astronomers predict that white dwarfs’ gaseous cores will crystallise and eventually become solid.

This decrease in temperature should also …

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