Latest Binary star Stories

2008-01-10 08:15:56

Observations of the interacting binary star using telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that the disks of hot gas that accumulate around a wide variety of astronomical objects"”from degenerate stars in energetic binary systems to supermassive black holes at the hearts of active galaxies"”are likely to be much larger than previously believed. The target of this specific investigation, named WZ Sagittae (WZ Sge), is an interacting...

2008-01-09 14:05:00

Hundreds of millions "” or even billions "” of years after planets would have initially formed around two unusual stars, a second wave of planetesimal and planet formation appears to be taking place, UCLA astronomers and colleagues believe. "This is a new class of stars, ones that display conditions now ripe for formation of a second generation of planets, long, long after the stars themselves formed," said UCLA astronomy graduate student Carl Melis, who reported the findings...

2008-01-09 13:55:00

AUSTIN , Texas -- Astronomers studying a nearby galaxy have spied a rare type of star system -- one that contains a black hole that suddenly began glowing brightly with X-rays. Though this type of star system is supposed to be rare, it's the second such system discovered in that galaxy, called Centaurus A. The discovery suggests that astronomers have more to learn about the lives and deaths of massive stars in galaxies such as our own. Normally when astronomers study Centaurus A, it's the...

2007-10-17 13:55:00

Astronomers have located an exceptionally massive black hole in orbit around a huge companion star. This result has intriguing implications for the evolution and ultimate fate of massive stars. The black hole is part of a binary system in M33, a nearby galaxy about 3 million light years from Earth. By combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Gemini telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, the mass of the black hole, known as M33 X-7, was determined to be 15.7 times that of the Sun....

2007-09-27 08:51:36

A team of European astronomers has used ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its razor-sharp eyes to discover a reservoir of dust trapped in a disc that surrounds an elderly star. The discovery provides additional clues about the shaping of planetary nebulae. In the last phases of their life, stars such as our Sun evolve from a red giant which would engulf the orbit of Mars to a white dwarf, an object that is barely larger than the Earth. The transition is accomplished by the...

2007-09-13 00:00:00

Using NASA's Swift and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellites, astronomers have discovered one of the most bizarre planet-mass objects ever found. The object's minimum mass is only about 7 times the mass of Jupiter. But instead of orbiting a normal star, this low-mass body orbits a rapidly spinning pulsar. It orbits the pulsar every 54.7 minutes at an average distance of only about 230,000 miles (slightly less than the Earth-Moon distance). "This object is merely the skeleton of a...

2007-06-27 19:05:00

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed an X-ray jet blasting away from a neutron star in a binary system. This discovery may help astronomers understand how neutron stars as well as black holes can generate powerful beams of relativistic particles. The jet was found in Circinus X-1, a system where a neutron star is in orbit around a star several times the mass of the Sun, about 20,000 light years from Earth. A neutron star is an extremely dense remnant of an exploded star consisting...

2007-05-01 09:07:46

Flagstaff, Ariz. - Gyrochronology, a new method for accurately determining the ages of field stars based on their rotational rates, was announced in April by Sydney Barnes, Lowell Observatory astronomer. This fundamental research, "Ages for illustrative field stars using gyrochronology: viability, limitations and errors," is accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal. "Gyrochronology transforms a rotating star into a clock which is set using the Sun and...

2007-04-17 17:35:00

An Anglo-American team of astronomers have used the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to obtain the first direct optical images of the aftermath of a recent titanic explosion that took place in a star system 5,000 light years from Earth. In a talk on Tuesday 17 April at the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting in Preston, Professor Michael Bode of Liverpool John Moores University will describe how these unique observations shed new light on the...

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...

Latest Binary star Reference Libraries

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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Word of the Day
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.