’Impossible’ Stars Found in Super-Close Orbital Dances
2012-07-27 0:00

From: Space.com

Four pairs of what astronomers are calling "impossible stars" — stellar twins in orbits so close they defy explanation — have been found in our Milky Way galaxy, scientists say.

Astronomers using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii discovered the four star pairs, each of which is a binary system in which two stars circle each other in less than four hours. Until now, scientists thought that such twin-star setups couldn’t exist.



This artist’s impression shows two active stars — M4-type red dwarfs — that orbit each other every 2.5 hours, as they continue to spiral inwards. Eventually they will coalesce into a single star.

Our sun does not orbit another star, but roughly half of the stars in our Milky Way galaxy do, as part of a binary system. These binary stars likely formed close together, and have been orbiting one another since their birth, the researchers said.

It was typically thought that if a star formed too close to another, the two stars would quickly merge into a single, bigger star. This theory seemed to agree with observations taken over the last three decades, which reveal that binary systems are abundant, but none of the pairs have an orbital period shorter than five hours, the researchers said.

In the new study, a team of astronomers monitored the brightness of hundreds of thousands of stars in near-infrared light over the past five years, and found several stellar binaries with surprisingly short orbits.

The astronomers focused on binaries of red dwarfs, which are stars that are up to ten times smaller and a thousand times dimmer than the sun. While red dwarfs are the most common type of star in the Milky Way galaxy, they often do not show up in astronomical surveys because they are too dim in visible light.

"To our complete surprise, we found several red dwarf binaries with orbital periods significantly shorter than the 5 hour cut-off found for sun-like stars, something previously thought to be impossible," the study’s lead author Bas Nefs, from Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, said in a statement. "It means that we have to rethink how these close-in binaries form and evolve."

Early in their lifetimes, stars shrink in size, which suggests that the orbits of stars in these tight binary systems must have also shrunk since they were formed, the researchers said. If not, the stars would have interacted with each other early on, and would have likely merged.

But, how the orbits of stars in these binaries shrunk by so much remains a mystery. According to the new study, one possible explanation is that cool stars in binary systems are much more active and violent than was previously thought.

As the cool stellar companions spiral in toward each other, their magnetic field lines may become twisted and deformed. This powerful magnetic activity may help slow down the spinning stars, allowing them to move closer together, the researchers explained.

"The active nature of these stars and their apparently powerful magnetic fields has profound implications for the environments around red dwarfs throughout our galaxy," study co-author David Pinfield, from the University of Hertfordshire in England, said in a statement.

Detailed results of the new study appear in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Article from: Space.com





Also tune into Red Ice Radio:

Walter Cruttenden - Lost Star of Myth and Time, Rise and Fall of Civilization and Consciousness

Walter Cruttenden - Sirius, The Binary Star & Precession

Walter Cruttenden - Ancient Cosmology: A Map of the Future

Wallace Thornhill - Proto-Saturn, The Purple Dawn of Creation & Our Strange Solar System

Andrew Collins - The Cygnus Mystery

Marshall Masters - Planet X in 2003 & 2012








Related Articles
Binary ’deathstar’ has Earth in its sights
Scientists find evidence of a mystery fifth giant planet that was ejected from the solar system
Scientists think solar system may have had a FIFTH gas planet
New 3D tool from NASA: Eyes on the Solar System
Huge New Planet (Brown Dwarf?) Discovered in Our Solar System - Tyche Echoes of Planet X or "Nibiru"
Was our solar system designed to produce humans?
Two Suns? Twin Stars Could Be Visible From Earth By 2012
Binary Research Institute


Latest News from our Front Page

Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths
2015-07-03 3:28
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies. MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery. FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
Gays Rights May Open Door for Pedophile Rights
2015-07-03 3:31
Democrats have attempted to normalize pedophilia as a sexual orientation. A recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage may soon allow pedophiles to argue they are suffering discrimination. “Using the same tactics used by ‘gay’ rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,” writes Jack Minor ...
Government Trolls Are Using ‘Psychology-Based Influence Techniques’ On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter
2015-07-03 3:56
Have you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll? Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. ...
Artificial Intelligence Takes the Battlefield: Who Is Really Running Jade Helm 15?
2015-07-03 2:31
Who is really going to be running Jade Helm 15? There is more to the story than just training for martial law in states designated as “hostile states” – already a chilling pretext with overtones of greater federal power that could spiral out of control. But it seems that it is actually A.I. – artificial intelligence – that is at the helm ...
Robot kills man at Volkswagen plant in Germany
2015-07-03 2:32
A 22-year-old worker was grabbed by the robot and crushed against a metal plate A robot has killed a man at a Volkswagen car factory in Germany. The 22-year-old worker died from injuries he sustained when he was trapped by a robotic arm and crushed against a metal plate. The man, who has not been named, was part of a team that ...
More News »