Scientists have discovered a huge special system of triple stars unlike any they’ve seen before.
Why is this important: By learning more about these types of star systemsAstronomers can put together a better idea of how stars and planets form in the universe.
What they found: The system consists of two stars orbiting each other in a binary and a third orbiting a binary, according to study Published at the end of June in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
- The two stars in the combined duo are 12 times bigger From the Sun, the third star has a mass 16 times the mass of the Sun.
- “To our knowledge, this is the first of its kind ever to be discovered,” said Alejandro Vigna Gomez, one of the study’s authors. statement.
- “We know of many triple star systems (three star systems), but they are generally much less massive. The massive stars in this trio are very close together — it’s a compact system.”
The Big Picture: The scientists behind the discovery believe this system likely formed as two sets of binaries orbiting each other.
- Then one of the stars in the outer duo merged with its companion, leaving a massive star orbiting the other duo.
Go further: What happens when a black hole eats a star
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