Not A Blood-Sucker; A Stellar Mass Sucker!

December 9, 2011 at 12:56 AM (astronomy topics, curious research, current news, extraterrestrial studies, late night studies, science and technology)

I am in here watching one of the Twilight films, while doing my ususal Internet browsing.  While on the theme of vampires, I stumbled across an interesting article about the activities of two stars within a region of our galaxy that are roughly seventy light years away from us.  They currently are being studied because of the curious action occurring between them.

This is a binary star system called 17 Leporis, with one of the stars being called a vampire star!  It is in the process of draining matter from it’s stellar partner.  An action of what has been labeled as stellar cannibalism is happening, as the star labeled Zeta Leoporis is slowly draining the mass from the companion star.

The victim is a red giant.  It is situated in conjuction with Zeta Leoporis, which is a white main-sequence star.  Zeta Leoporis seems to be surrounded by an asteroid belt.  As well, it is pulling mass from the red giant companion star in a seemingly slow, yet steady process. 

Researchers with The E.S.O. – La Silla Paranal Observatory have found that the manner in which mass is being drained is different from similar settings with dual star systems.  In this case, it seems as if the red giant is expelling matter through stellar winds.  Zeta Leoporis is absorbing, draining, all of what is being released! 

 Zeta Leoporis is situated south of The Orion Constellation.  It actually is within the constellation called Lepus, M79.  Scientists working with The European Space Observatory have been studying this system, noticing that there is an unusual action occurring with both stars.  Other stars within Lepus include Arneb, Hind’s Crimson Star, and NihalThat all looked interesting…..


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stellar expansion into a red giant

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