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Binary star system

Binary star system

F001/2788

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Binary star system. Artwork of the two stars of a binary star system seen from an alien planet. A giant blue star (upper left) is accompanied by a neutron star (centre right). The blue star burns brightly as a massive, short-lived star that may use up its nuclear fuel in a few million years. It has a strong stellar wind of material being lost to space. The wind has formed a shock wave around the small, super-dense neutron star that will capture the material in this process which is called bow-shock accretion. A neutron star is the remnant of a massive star that collapsed under its own gravity after its sustaining nuclear reactions ceased. Around half of all stars form binaries.

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