Astronomers Find 'Spider Stars' That Devour Their Companions

"Spider stars" are violent pulsars in binary systems that shred material from companion stars

    2021/01/25

NSFW    WASHINGTON — Astronomers have discovered a new type of "spider star" — violent pulsars that shred material from companion stars, LiveScience reports.

Pulsars that rotate every 30 milliseconds or less are called "spider stars" if they are locked in close orbit with a companion star. They siphon the material that they use to become pulsars from their companion.

In a new paper published to the arXiv database that has not yet been peer reviewed, an international team of researchers identified five of these systems in the Milky Way.

Three of these are "black widows," pulsars that have reduced their companion to significantly less than a tenth the mass of our Sun. One is called a "redback," with a companion star larger than a tenth of our Sun's mass. And one appeared to be a hybrid between a black widow and redback.
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Astronomers Find 'Spider Stars' That Devour Their Companions

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