Sometimes stellar remnants cannibalize other stars, emitting x-rays that can be detected in distant galaxies. Learn how making a careful tally of these gruesome events can reveal how stars are formed.
KIC 2856960 appeared to be an interesting but straightforward triple star system in the Kepler catalog. But attempts to model this system prove that appearances can be deceiving.
Instead of happily orbiting in circles with constant velocity, the two stars spend most of their time far apart, and a few harrowing hours racing past each other. Or, to put it another way: hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. This is a heartbeat star.
How do pulsating stars give away their secret identities as binary dance partners? In this paper, the authors demonstrate a new way to not only detect binaries we may have missed in the Kepler data, but also to measure their velocities without spectra.
Enter the observed oddball: a subdwarf B (sdB) star. These unexpected stars are fusing helium into carbon and oxygen in their core and only have a thin hydrogen envelope. So, where did the hydrogen go?
Tune in now for the first extrasolar weather map of a nearby brown dwarf, made using Doppler imaging.