Images from the Hubble Space Telescope show that there are previously unknown white dwarfs orbiting around pulsar companions.
Pulsars, or rapidly-spinning neutron stars, have been observed suddenly change how fast they spin. Typically, the pulsars we’ve seen do this are isolated—what happens if they have a stellar companion?
A supernova goes off. A star has died. Can its partner have anything to do with it?
Cepheids’ pulsing brightness variations happen because the star’s temperature and radius is changing, and they occupy a unique niche of stellar evolution. We can learn a lot about what is physically happening inside stars during this tumultuous time through close observations. Or rather, we could learn a lot about what happens inside Cepheid variable stars, if only we knew their masses.
Cepheids are bright enough that we can use them to measure distances to other galaxies, but their luminosities also makes detecting their companions particularly difficult. So how do astronomers find their uncover their secret partners? Today’s paper takes a look…
The massive binary star system Eta Carinae has been examined like never before in a recent study. Read on to hear the new discoveries from this approach, and the potential it opens for astrophysical research.