Blue vampire Star caught sucking Red Giant s gas

Astronomers have captured the best-ever image of a star sucking the gas away from its bloated, dying companion.  (click the image for animation)


The mechanics of stellar vampirism, however, proved less dramatic than astronomers anticipated. They expected to see hot gas funneling from a cool red giant star into a hot, dense blue star. Instead they saw mostly nothing.

Blue vampire Star caught sucking Red Giant s gas

The binary star system, called SS Leporis, likely uses a lesser-known method to send gas from one star to the other.

“For a long time this system was suspected as a typical example of star vampirism, but it’s more light and friendly than we would have loved to see,” said astronomer Jean-Philippe Berger of the European Southern Observatory and co-author of an upcoming study on SS Leporis in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Binary systems contain two stars orbiting a common center of mass. If the stars orbit close enough to each other, they can share gas to become “symbiotic binaries” like SS Leporis, which is located about 910 light-years from Earth.

read more: wired