BPM 37093 - the "diamond" star
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, reproduced with permission.

BPM 37093 - the "diamond" star

What's in a Name: The 37093rd star in the Bruce Proper Motion catalog. Also known as V*886 Cen, the 886th variable star in the constellation Centaurus.
Claim to Fame: The most massive pulsating white dwarf currently known, with a crystal core of carbon and oxygen. A white dwarf is the final state of stars like the Sun, an exposed core that just slowly cools down over time. These stars begin to pulsate when the surface temperature reaches about 12,000 degrees.
Type of Star: Hydrogen-atmosphere variable white dwarf (Spectral Class DAV4.3).
How Far Away: 50 light years.
How Big:About 1/200 the Sun's radius (0.6 times the Earth's radius), but nearly the same mass as the Sun!
How Bright:1/2000 times the Sun's absolute visual brightness.
Where to View: In the constellation Centaurus. Not visible to the unaided eye.
When to View: Best viewed from the Southern hemisphere during March-June.

Last modified October 26, 2004 by Travis Metcalfe.

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Gamma Ray Bursts - The Most Powerful Objects in the Universe?

Satellites in the 1960's looked for a type of light called Gamma Rays. They found bursts of Gamma Rays coming from outer space! They can't hurt you. They are stopped by the Earth's atmosphere. We have...more

Galaxies - Star Cities

When we look up at the night sky, we notice that there are many stars in our sky. Stars must like to live together in star cities - galaxies. Our city of stars is called the Milky Way, and it is home to...more

Neutron Stars

Neutron Stars form when really big stars die. When such a star runs out of fuel its center begins to collapse under gravity. When the center collapses the entire star collapses. The surface of the star...more

Spiral Galaxies

Spiral galaxies may remind you of a pinwheel that blows in the breeze. Like a pinwheel, a spiral galaxy is rotating, and it has spiral arms. Through a telescope or binoculars,a spiral galaxy may look...more

White Dwarfs

When stars like our own sun die they will become White Dwarfs. As a star like our sun is running out of fuel in its center it grows into a red giant. This will happen to our sun in 5 Billion years. The...more


What's in a Name: Arabic for "head of the demon" Claim to Fame: Represents Medusa's eye in Perseus. A special variable star that "winks" every 3 days. Type of Star: Blue-white Main Sequence Star, and...more

Sirius B - Bizarre White Dwarf Companion of Sirius A

What's in a Name: Nicknamed the "Pup" because it is the companion to Sirius, "the Dog Star" Claim to Fame: Highly compressed white dwarf remnant. Density about 50,000 times that of water. It has approximately...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA