Scientists capture amazing moment two stars fuse into ONE
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Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:27 AM
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Astronomers have long suspected the phenomenon of two stars merging together was possible. But now, after years of searching, they have finally discovered the moment two closely orbiting stars became one. A study by Romuald Tylenda of the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre in Torun, Poland, observed a pair or stars, named v1309 Scorpii.
The v1309 group was first found in 2008 when it erupted with a large solar flare. Several studies were undertaken but no one explanation was given for what happened. However Mr Tylenda then realised that an observatory in the Polish capital Warsaw had, by chance, been pointing its lens at the region for several years.
Spending hours going through the images taken since 2002, he and his colleagues found light variations that suggested v1309 was originally a contact binary star. A contact binary star is a just-touching pair of stars that circle each other over a small period of time - in this case 1.4 days.
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