10th April 2011 Notes: When Two Stars Become One

Astronomers have discovered two dead stars……. white dwarfs…… that are circling around each other at a close distance to each other. They are much closer to each other than the  Earth is to the Moon. Due to their near proximity to each other, they are orbiting each other at 1.5 million km an hour which means they will complete one orbit every 40 minutes. When these 2 stars collide in the next million years, they will not form a supernova as they are not heavy enough. Instead they are expected to merge together and form a single star.

On the right is our view of what these two might look like.

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~ by sydneystargazers on April 10, 2011.

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