X-ray Source: EX Hydrae

EX Hydrae is a binary system of two stars circling each other. It is in the constellation of Hydra and about 200 light years (60 parsecs) distant.

This binary system consists of a white dwarf star that extracts matter from its larger companion star. It is called a cataclysmic variable because the matter transfer from one star to the other leads to irregular outbursts of light and energy.

EX Hydrae is of the intermediate polar type of cataclysmic variables. The type depends on the strength of the magnetic field of the white dwarf. If the magnetic field is strong, matter falls down along magnetic field lines onto the poles. If the magnetic field is weak, an accretion disk forms around the white dwarf. In the intermediate case, such as EX Hydrae, there is both an accretion disk and matter falling down along field lines.

In this process of matter transfer, a great amount of x-rays is emitted. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has recorded x-rays from EX Hydrae.

Visit NASA's website to read more about the  Chandra X-Ray Observatory.