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Latest Binary star Stories

912c15ac17644e14814bdb771637b6631
2007-04-17 10:45:00

Cambridge, MA - Astronomers have found the lowest mass white dwarf known in our galaxy: a Saturn-sized ball of helium containing only about one-fifth the mass of the Sun. In addition, they have spotted the source of the white dwarf's radical weight-loss plan. An unseen companion, likely another white dwarf, has sucked away much of the tiny white dwarf's material, leaving it a shadow of its former self. "This star is bizarre," said Warren Brown of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for...

1cbc9df8a1eec1996314b58f9115eaf61
2007-03-29 12:25:00

The double sunset that Luke Skywalker gazed upon in the film Star Wars might not be a fantasy. Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have observed that planetary systems -- dusty disks of asteroids, comets, and possibly planets -- are at least as abundant in twin-star systems as they are in those, like our own, with only one star. Since more than half of all stars are twins, or binaries, the finding suggests the universe is packed with planets that have two suns. Sunsets on some...

fc96e1806006812355e625f616b8fa451
2007-03-07 13:09:38

Proof that certain double star systems can erupt in full-blown explosions and then continue to flare up with smaller bursts has been spotted by the ultraviolet eyes of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. The finding bolsters a 20-year-old theory that suggests such double-star, or binary systems, should eventually undergo both types of explosion, rather than just one or the other. It implies the systems probably cycle between two blast types, hiccupping every few weeks with small surges until...

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2007-02-22 11:20:00

Twenty years ago, astronomers witnessed one of the brightest stellar explosions in more than 400 years. The titanic supernova, called SN 1987A, blazed with the power of 100 million suns for several months following its discovery on Feb. 23, 1987. Observations of SN 1987A, made over the past 20 years by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and many other major ground- and space-based telescopes, have significantly changed astronomers' views of how massive stars end their lives. Astronomers credit...

b730a01e1ae293a523bf7dd1bda0706a1
2007-02-16 14:20:00

Imagine two stars with winds so intense that they eject an Earth's worth of material roughly once every month. Next, imagine those two winds colliding head-on. Such titanic collisions produce multimillion-degree gas, which radiates brilliantly in X-rays. Astronomers have conclusively identified the X-rays from about two-dozen of these systems in our Milky Way. But they have never seen one outside our galaxy "” until now. Thanks to the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray...

40eeb0cfa10e5b5b0e6f24c8493a390b1
2007-01-11 09:25:00

Like cold case investigators, astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to uncover evidence of a powerful outburst from the giant black hole at the Milky Way's center. A light echo was produced when X-ray light generated by gas falling into the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star"), was reflected off gas clouds near the black hole. While the primary X-rays from the outburst would have reached Earth about 50 years ago, the reflected...

f0430f8618edf34391feef403770bcf8
2007-01-04 14:55:00

Evidence for a significant new class of supernova has been found with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. These results strengthen the case for a population of stars that evolve rapidly and are destroyed by thermonuclear explosions. Such "prompt" supernovas could be valuable tools for probing the early history of the cosmos. A team of astronomers uncovered a puzzling situation when they examined X-ray data from DEM L238 and DEM L249, the remnants of...

f56eb0aa8df16b6873d84c19fb81d6731
2006-11-27 09:55:00

ESA's gamma-ray observatory, Integral, has spotted a rare kind of gamma-ray outburst. The vast explosion of energy allowed astronomers to pinpoint a possible black hole in our Galaxy. The outburst was discovered on 17 September 2006 by staff at the Integral Science Data Centre (ISDC), Versoix, Switzerland. Inside the ISDC, astronomers constantly monitor the data coming down from Integral because they know the sky at gamma-ray wavelengths can be a swiftly changing place. "The galactic centre...

ff269c3543e4a70e34b4efdeed959dab1
2006-08-04 12:26:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio - That intergalactic road trip to Triangulum is going to take a little longer than you had planned. An Ohio State University astronomer and his colleagues have determined that the Triangulum Galaxy, otherwise known as M33, is actually about 15 percent farther away from our galaxy than previously measured. This finding implies that the Hubble constant, a number that astronomers rely on to calculate a host of factors -- including the size and age of the universe -- could be...

1317dfe4b56c7f6bb3fb86644757c7731
2006-07-07 09:44:46

Thanks to data from ESA's XMM-Newton satellite, a team of scientists taking a closer look at an object discovered over 25 years ago have found that it is like none other known in our galaxy. The object is in the heart of supernova remnant RCW103, the gaseous remains of a star that exploded about 2 000 years ago. Taken at face value, RCW103 and its central source would appear to be a textbook example of what is left behind after a supernova explosion: a bubble of ejected material and a neutron...


Latest Binary star Reference Libraries

10_92430632dfc26ec0245770cbd79d1d092
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Lyra Constellation -- Lyra (the lyre) is a prominent, although fairly small, northern constellation. It was one of Ptolemy's 48 constellations, and also counts among the modern 88 constellations. Its brightest star is Vega (Alpha Lyrae), which together with Altair (Alpha Aquilae) and Deneb (Alpha Cygni) forms the large asterism known as the Summer Triangle. Beta Lyr is a half separated (i.e. one of the stars reached its Rochevolume) eclipsing binary of a cream-white colour. The...

6_1446abbc556d86191d7944d6c5cf68052
2004-10-19 04:45:43

X-ray Burster -- X-ray bursters are a class of binary stars which are luminous in X-rays. They contain a neutron star and a low-mass companion star. The companion fills its Roche lobe and therefore the neutron star is accreting matter from it. The inflowing gas forms an accretion disk around the neutron star. Sometimes X-ray bursters show a sudden increase in their X-ray luminosity, called X-ray burst. All properties of the X-ray bursts can be explained assuming that they result from...

6_48ed76f36ff2f4ed0ad83a22964029652
2004-10-19 04:45:43

X-ray Binaries -- X-ray binaries are a class of binary stars that are very luminous in X-rays. The X-rays are produced by matter falling from one component (usually a relatively normal star) to the other component, which is a neutron star or a black hole. The infalling matter releases gravitational potential energy, up to several tens of per cent of its rest mass as X-rays. (Hydrogen fusion releases about 0.7 per cent of rest mass) X-ray binaries are further subdivided into...

6_f1577ee462b741c03ef6a7d23d2cd6905
2004-10-19 04:45:43

Variable Star -- Most stars are of nearly constant luminosity. Our own Sun is a good example which goes through practically no measurable variation in brightness. There are, however, stars which do vary in brightness, called variable stars. They fall into two main groups: Intrinsic variables These are stars which have intrinsic variations in brightness, that is the star itself gets brighter and dimmer. There are many types of intrinsic variables, the main types being: -- Mira...

6_56f5b656bab076f112064c1e8bd2f30c2
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Triple Star -- A triple star system consists of three gravitationally bound stars. The stars are in orbits around a common center of mass, usually so that two of the stars form a close binary star and the third is further away. This configuration is often called a hierarchical triple star. Multiple stars containing more than three stars can usually be decomposed to binaries and single stars that are in a hierachically bound system. ----- Click here to learn more on this...

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