Spiralling white dwarfs measure relativity

Gravitational wave radiation exactly explains the observed spindown rate of 0.25 milliseconds per year for this white dwarf binary discovered in 2011. The work comes from the McDonald Observatory (University of Texas at Austin) group led by Don Winget and relies on a 200 hour dataset from the 75 year old 2.1 metre Otto Struve telescope (pictured). The binary period is 12.75 minutes.

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