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A double star system that was thought to be impossible has been discovered

Viewing in the infrared range allowed astronomers to locate at least four pairs of red dwarfs orbiting each other in less than 4 hours

Artist's rendering showing the close proximity of two stars, the two active M4 red dwarfs orbit each other in two and a half hours and continue to spin towards each other. Eventually they will merge into one star. Illustration: J. Pinfield
Artist's rendering showing the close proximity of two stars, the two active M4 red dwarfs orbit each other in two and a half hours and continue to spin towards each other. Eventually they will merge into one star. Illustration: J. Pinfield

Astronomers estimate that about half of the stars in the galaxy, unlike our sun, are part of a double star system (or what is erroneously called a double star), in which two stars orbit each other. However, they also believed that there is some limit to the proximity between the two stars in the system without them merging into one big star.

Now a team of astronomers has discovered four pairs of stars in very close orbits that were thought to be impossible. The stars in these pairs orbit each other in less than 4 hours.
In the last thirty years many populations of double stars have been discovered and in no system has a cycle time of less than five hours been measured. Usually these are stars who were born together and have remained close ever since.

A team of astronomers using the UK Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii (UKIRT) has made the first measurement of binary stars in which both partners are red dwarfs. Red dwarfs are 10 times smaller than the Sun and their light intensity is a thousand times weaker. Although this is the most common type of star in the Milky Way, they are not seen in regular surveys due to the fact that they are dim in visible light.
But the astronomers who observed them using UKIRT monitored the brightness of hundreds of thousands of stars, including thousands of red dwarfs in the near-infrared light, using an advanced wide-film camera (WFC).
"To our surprise, we found several pairs of red dwarfs with cycle periods significantly shorter than five hours, something we previously thought was impossible," says Bass Neps of Leiden University in the Netherlands, the lead researcher in the article to be published in the Monthly of the Royal Astronomical Society. "This means we have to rethink the question of how close stars can form and evolve."

Since stars shrink early in their lives, the fact that these close binary pairs exist means that their orbits must have been shrinking since their birth. Otherwise, the stars would have come into contact long ago and merged. However, it is not clear how these tracks could have shrunk so much. One possible scenario is that cold stars in a binary system were much more active and violent than previously thought.

The astronomers said that the magnetic field lines may have radiated out from the cold star in the group, rotating and reorganizing as they swirl around each other, creating excess solar wind activity, powerful flares and sunspots. Powerful magnetic activity may help to stop these spinning stars, slowing them down to bring them closer together.

"The active nature of these stars and their strong magnetic fields affect the environment of red dwarfs throughout the galaxy," says team member David Finfield of the University of Hertfordshire.
UKIRT has a mirror with a diameter of 3.8 meters and serves as the second largest infrared detector telescope in the world. It also sits on top of the Mauna Kea volcano on the island of Hawaii, at an altitude of 4,200 meters above sea level.


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8 תגובות

  1. father

    Very interesting answer
    I believe that when there is a concept or theory and a new discovery is found, almost automatically, they try to explain it according to the accepted concept known at the time.

  2. to Ernest
    Your claim that the laws of physics are not uniform everywhere in the universe is correct.
    For example, different laws apply to the event horizon of a black hole or a neutron star
    Than on the above. The laws of physics immediately after the big bang must have been different from those that exist today.
    This is no reason not to investigate and discover the laws of nature in different places and times.
    Just another note. In general, scientists believe that with the exception of singular points and different effects in theory
    Quantum, most of physics is continuous. That is, the functions that describe the laws of physics
    They are mostly continuous so we expect the transition from one rule zone to another to be continuous as well.
    This is why physics has been trying since the days of Einstein to find a general theory that would describe all phenomena
    Known physics, through a universal system of laws.

  3. Eran

    It is true that today it will be accepted if we say that we have not yet completed the knowledge related to the uniform legality in the universe
    However, it is "not allowed" to assume that there is no legality whatsoever or that there is, but it changes and changes in time and place.
    And you answer according to the accepted concept.

  4. As I demonstrated, according to the correct language rules, you should say "he" and I used "she"

  5. From time to time, not so rare, findings are discovered that contradict the legality known to us, but somehow a way is always found to explain the same phenomenon and it already fits the same legality. Maybe we have a basic mistake
    From the very thought that the same laws have always existed and they also exist everywhere in the universe. It is possible that the laws are different in different places in the universe and it is also possible that the laws change as the universe changes.

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