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VFTS 352 double star system, illustration

VFTS 352 double star system, illustration

C030/0159

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Credit

L. CALCADA / EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY L. CALCADA / EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

VFTS 352 double star system. Illustration of the touching stars (contact binary) in the double star system VFTS 352. This is the hottest and most massive contact binary known. The O-type system is around 160,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud in the constellation of Dorado. It is thought that the eventual fate of the system with be either the formation of a single giant star, or a binary black hole. The discovery of VFTS 352 involved use of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope.

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