Study: binary stars separate a star that devours its partner | Heavenly body | Sun

[The Epoch Times, 7 ottobre 2022](Epoch Times reporter Takasugi compiled and reported) In our galaxy, with lonersSundifferent, about half ofstarkeeps long-term, similar “celestial bodyMarriage “is companionship, together in a form called”double starsystem “around each other.

This week, the researchers described a couple of near extremesdouble starAmong the “partners”, the “failure”celestial bodymarriage. “This couplestarRotate around each other every 51 minutes. Its orbital period is the rarest and fastest of any known class of binary stars. In this “celestial marriage failure” storyline, a star is slowly eating her older partner.

The two stars are located in a region about 3,000 light years from Earth in the direction of the constellation of Hercules. A light year is the distance that light travels in a year, or 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion kilometers).

The system belongs to a class of binary stars known as “Cataclysmic Variables”, one of which is similar toSunThe star orbits near a so-called white dwarf, which is basically the hot, dense core of a burned-out star. So-called variable stars refer to changes in their combined brightness over time when viewed from Earth. The “catastrophic” refers to the change in brightness which is very large, in some cases 10,000 times or more than normal.

Over the course of millions of years, the distance between the two stars has now shrunk to be closer than the moon is to the Earth.

Kevin Burdge, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), explained: “Imagine if the moon whizzed through the sky 10 times a night. This is the kind of speed we’re talking about.” the study published this week in the journal Nature.

Just because they’re close to each other doesn’t mean they’re good to each other, though: the white dwarf is mercilessly consuming her body from her partner.

That larger star is roughly the same temperature as the sun, but has been reduced to only about 10 percent of the sun’s diameter. This already makes it as big as Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. The white dwarf is about 1.5 times the diameter of the Earth, but it is very dense, with about 56% of the mass of the Sun.

“This is a couple of old stars that have been together for a long time,” Birch said. “When the stars grow old and die, they both become white dwarfs. But now one of the persistent stars is moving and eating her mate.”

“Essentially, they’ve been together in a binary orbit for 8 billion years,” Birch said. And now, just before the second star can end its stellar life cycle and become a white dwarf in the usual way of stars, evolving into a type of star called the red giant, the remnant of the first star’s remaining white dwarf, disrupting the end of life and transition process of his partner, he began to devour her slowly.

The researchers used data from the Palomar Observatory in California and telescopes in Hawaii and the Canary Islands.

Most stars are made up mostly of hydrogen, with small amounts of helium and other elements. The largest on the track – the “older” one – is unusually rich in helium. This is not only because its comrades ate its outer layers of hydrogen, but also because it slowly fuses hydrogen atoms into helium in a thermonuclear furnace, where there is a large amount of helium in its core.

The binary system periodically glows and dims, in part because the larger star is physically deformed into a drop of water instead of its original spherical shape, attracted by the gravitational pull of the white dwarf.

“There is a lot of crazy stuff going on in space right now,” Birch said.

Responsible editor: Ye Ziwei #

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