binary stars

Dangerous Stellar Liaisons

Discovered in the 1970s, the Rapid Burster is a binary system comprising a low-mass star in its prime and a neutron star – the compact remnant of a massive star’s demise. In such a stellar…


The next Tatooine connection

If you cast your eyes toward the constellation Cygnus, you’ll be looking in the direction of the largest planet yet discovered around a double-star system. It’s too faint to see with the naked eye, but…


Looking at old pulsar data

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics…


Twice the chance?

Planets with two parent stars face a double whammy of radiation, a situation that would seemingly make them far less suitable for life than single-star systems. But appearances can be deceiving. New research suggests that…


Like to have a big, hot mama around?

A new study using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has shown that most very bright high-mass stars, which drive the evolution of galaxies, do not live alone. Almost three quarters of these stars are found…