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'Impossible' binary stars discovered

Posted on Sunday, 8 July, 2012 | Comment icon 12 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

Astronomers have discovered two red dwarf stars orbiting one another in a record breaking 2.5 hours.

While binary star systems are quite common in our galaxy, it was thought that a binary system with an orbit of under 5 hours was impossible because at such a short distance the two stars would merge together to form a single large star. Astronomers were therefore surprised to discover a binary system in which the stars were so close together that they're orbital period was only 2.5 hours.

"To our complete surprise, we found several red dwarf binaries with orbital periods significantly shorter than the 5 hour cut-off found for Sun-like stars, something previously thought to be impossible," said astronomer Bas Nefs. "It means that we have to rethink how these close-in binaries form and evolve."

"About half of the stars in our Milky Way galaxy are, unlike our Sun, part of a binary system in which two stars orbit each other."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ryegrog on 8 July, 2012, 16:34
With discoveries like this, one would think that science would be more receptive to phenomenas no matter how impossible it may seem to be.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Junior Chubb on 8 July, 2012, 20:45
Good to see the 'Impossible' becoming possible.
Comment icon #5 Posted by marcos anthony toledo on 8 July, 2012, 21:16
More crow scientist are force to eat back to the black borads people figure this one out.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Tyminator on 8 July, 2012, 23:15
Maybe this is dumb, but is it possible for the magnetic fields of the two stars to repel each other? If so, the gravity would be pulling them together and thus, combined with the repelling of the magnetic fields, would it be possible for them to become almost suspended close to each other? Like I said, it might be dumb, but this is what I thought of.
Comment icon #7 Posted by CRIPTIC CHAMELEON on 8 July, 2012, 23:57
Not sure ? but even the scientists are going back to school on this one. And I think its dumber not to ask a question even if it is wrong /right.
Comment icon #8 Posted by csspwns on 9 July, 2012, 0:57
impossible made possible
Comment icon #9 Posted by Super-Fly on 9 July, 2012, 13:00
American express makes the impossible possible!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Lava_Lady on 10 July, 2012, 10:45
Really, I agree. Never say impossible, you never know!
Comment icon #11 Posted by Atlantia on 14 July, 2012, 23:39
Hopefully not a dumb idea, it was the first thing that occured to me as well. Be nice to know if there is anything else unusual in their 'behavior'? Rotation speed, precession etc.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Atlantia on 14 July, 2012, 23:42
Thats the great thing about science and what differentiates it from faith. Science is always introspective, always looking to be proven wrong, always looking to prove the impossible.

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