Binary and Multiple Stars: Crash Course Astronomy #34



Double stars are stars that appear to be near each other in the sky, but if they’re gravitationally bound together we call them binary stars. Many stars are actually part of binary or multiple systems. If they are close enough together they can actually touch other, merging into one peanut-shaped star. In some close binaries matter can flow from one star to the other, changing the way it ages. If one star is a white dwarf, this can cause periodic explosions, and possibly even lead to blowing up the entire star.

Crash Course Astronomy Poster:

Table of Contents
What are binary stars? 0:51
Merging peanut-shaped stars 6:52
Close binaries begin to flow into one another, sometimes blowing up the star 8:29

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PHOTOS/VIDEOS
Big Dipper [credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo]
Sirius [credit: NASA, ESA, H. Bond (STScI), and M. Barstow (University of Leicester)]
Sirius A and B [credit: NASA/SAO/CXC]
Clashing Winds (video) [credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center]
The Radial Velocity Method (artist’s impression) [credit: ESO]
Mizar+Alcor [credit: Wikimedia Commons, Thomas Bresson]
Polaris [credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon]
Does the Sun Have Long Lost Siblings? [credit: SciShow Space]
Clashing Winds (image) [credit: NASA/C. Reed X-ray images courtesy of NASA/GSFC/S. Immler]
Artist’s impression of the pulsar PSR J0348+0432 and its white dwarf companion [credit: ESO/L. Calçada]
Artist’s impression of eclipsing binary [credit: ESO/L. Calçada]
Artist’s impression of the yellow hypergiant star HR 5171 [credit: ESO]
Nova [credit: NASA, Casey Reed]
Artist’s impression of RS Ophiuchi [credit: David A. Hardy/ & PPARC]
An artist’s impression of Sirius A and B [credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)]
Artist’s impression of vampire star [credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser]
Type Ia supernova [credit: Walt Feimer, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center]

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