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.
Most binary stars probably formed at the same time, meaning all stars in the same system should have the same age. The authors of this paper analyze a stellar binary system where one star appears to be lying about its age, as one star appears 3 billion years older than its companion.
Kepler finds a new binary system with a Delta Scuti pulsator.
One of nature’s best clocks is a millisecond pulsar. These exotic stellar corpses are neutron stars: incredibly dense, rotating hundreds of times per second, and emitting powerful jets or beams of light. This creates a “pulsing” effect, much like a lighthouse.
Title: Fast Radio Bursts May Originate from Nearby Flaring Stars Authors: Abraham Loeb, Yossi Shvartzvald, Dan Maoz First Author’s Institution: Institute for Theory and Computation, Harvard University Paper Status: MNRAS, in press One of the most intriguing discoveries in radio astronomy in recent years has been the discovery of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). Originally called Lorimer bursts after the […]
In today’s paper, the authors study how the periods of two black hole x-ray binaries are changing. They find that the periods are decaying faster than expected based on standard theoretical arguments.
Cataclysmic variables are binary star systems where one of the stars—a white dwarf—devours its main sequence partner over time. Kepler proves yet again that it can find a lot more than just exoplanets by identifying a cataclysmic variable with a period of less than an hour.