Scientists say that one star 'lashes' another in 'brutal' behavior

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Scientists Spot A White Dwarf Giving Its Companion Star A Cosmic Lashing

Researchers at the European Southern Observatory have released a statement about interesting behavior going on in the system AR Scorpii. The system is binary, meaning two stars are there, but it's often mistaken as having only one star.

SEE ALSO: NASA has new theory about Jupiter

A white dwarf -- a very dense star in the system -- spins rapidly, powering up electrons at the speed of light. The electrons blast flashes of radiation to a red dwarf star close by. As the Observatory describes it, this "causes the entire system to pulse dramatically every 1.97 minutes with radiation ranging from the ultraviolet to radio."

Apparently, the white dwarf "lashes" the red dwarf, which is what scientists call "brutal behavior."

RELATED: Check out Saturn's rings with images from the Cassini spacecraft

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Saturn's rings -- Cassini spacecraft
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Saturn's rings -- Cassini spacecraft
Three of Saturn's moons, Tethys, Enceladus and Mimas, taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on December 3, 2015 is shown in this NASA image released on February 22, 2016. Tethys (660 miles or 1,062 kilometers across) appears above the rings, while Enceladus (313 miles or 504 kilometers across) sits just below center. Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across) hangs below and to the left of Enceladus. The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Handout FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
A natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible, is seen in this NASA handout taken from the Cassini spacecraft July 19, 2013 and released November 12, 2013. The image captures 404,880 miles (651,591 kilometers) across Saturn and its inner ring system, including all of Saturn's rings out to the E ring, which is Saturn's second outermost ring. Cassini's imaging team processed 141 wide-angle images to create the panorama. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Handout via Reuters (OUTER SPACE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
The Saturn moons Mimas and Pandora are shown in this handout photo taken May 14, 2013 by NASA's Cassini spacecraft and provided by NASA July 30, 2013. Pandora's small size means that it lacks sufficient gravity to pull itself into a round shape like its larger sibling, Mimas. Researchers believe that the elongated shape of Pandora (50 miles, or 81 kilometers across) may hold clues to how it and other moons near Saturn's rings formed. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Saturn's rings and our planet Earth and its moon are seen in this image taken by the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft July 19, 2013. Earth, which is 898 million miles (1.44 billion km) away in this image, appears as a blue dot at center right; the moon can be seen as a fainter protrusion off its right side. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Handout via Reuters (OUTER SPACE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
The wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn's rings and planet Earth and its moon in the same frame in this rare image taken on July 19, 2013 courtesy of NASA. A robotic space probe nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion km) from Earth turned its gaze away from Saturn and its entourage of moons to take a picture of its home planet, NASA said on Monday. The resulting image shows Earth as a very small, blue-tinged dot - paler and tinier than in other photos - overshadowed by the giant Saturn's rings in foreground. REUTERS/NASA/Handout via Reuters (OUTER SPACE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
The Cassini spacecraft took this mosaic of the planet Saturn and its rings backlit against the Sun on October 17, 2012 using infrared, red and violet spectral filters that were combined to create an enhanced-color view, in this handout image courtesy of NASA. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera at a distance of approximately 500,000 miles (800,000 kilometers) from Saturn. Also captured are two of Saturn's moons: Enceladus and Tethys. Both appear on the left side of the planet, below the rings. Enceladus is closer to the rings; Tethys is below and to the left. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Handout (OUTER SPACE - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
An image captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft February 4, 2007 and released on March 1, 2007 shows never-before-seen views of Saturn. EDITORIAL USE ONLY REUTERS/NASA/Handout (UNITED STATES)
NASA handout image shows Saturn's atmosphere and its rings in a false color composite made from 12 images, captured on January 12, 2011. The mosaic shows the tail of Saturn's huge northern storm. The images were taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera using a combination of spectral filters sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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The white dwarf is the same size as Earth but contains 200,000 times the mass. The red dwarf contrastingly has mass equivalent to a third of the amount the sun has.

Scientists are unsure where the electrons come from and why it appears as though the white dwarf is "lashing" the red dwarf.

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