PDA

View Full Version : sumo wrestlers in space



sol_g2v
2004-May-27, 02:27 AM
Otherwise known as WR 20a, a pair of 80+ sol-mass Wolf-Rayet stars that comprise the most massive binary stars ever measured: http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/heaviest_stars_twins.html?2652004

Brady Yoon
2004-May-27, 02:30 AM
Cool. Should we expect any violent activity beyond supernovae?

sol_g2v
2004-May-27, 06:49 PM
Cool. Should we expect any violent activity beyond supernovae?

After a double supernova there will either be two neutron stars or two black holes. Either way the orbits will decay and they will collide, which should no doubt be spectacular. Supposedly merging neutron stars are a possible explanation for GRBs.

Though I'm not sure how the secondary could survive the primary becoming a supergiant, let alone a supernova.

Kaptain K
2004-May-27, 10:06 PM
Would it be possible for the shock wave from the first star going supernova to collapse the second into a (premature) supernova? :-?

Padawan
2004-May-29, 01:46 PM
This was a very interesting article, thanks for posting the link! =)


Kaptain K: interesting question you have there. i'd say it depends on how massive the shockwave is and at what stage in evolution the non-supernova star is. Maybe, if it's not evolved enough, it cant use the matter from the shockwave to collapse?

Ilya
2004-Jun-01, 02:30 AM
Would it be possible for the shock wave from the first star going supernova to collapse the second into a (premature) supernova? :-?

No. To collapse a star into a "premature" supernova, you must add mass to it. The shockwave won't do that. It may blow off some mass though - thus will make the second star burn a little slower, and actually delay its supernova explosion.

sol_g2v
2004-Jun-01, 09:24 PM
I think a star could hold itself together enough to withstand a nearby supernova. The real question is what happens when one star balloons up while the other is so close. Probably some mass transfer will occur, impacting future evolution. They will certainly affect each other quite profoundly.

Padawan, you should create some astro art about this!

Gullible Jones
2004-Jun-02, 12:44 AM
The picture on the page is inaccurate. Wolf-Rayet stars are very, very hot, and therefore blue-white in color.

Tobin Dax
2004-Jun-02, 06:49 AM
I'm really not up on WR stars, but looking at the abstract from astro-ph, the orbital separation of the stars is about 5.5 solar radii. Googling tells me that WR stars are typically about 1 solar radius in size, but their typical mass is around 25 solar masses. From that, I would guess that the radius of these stars is about 2 solar radii. Since the masses are roughly equal, the L1 point (I think it's L1) would be about halfway between the stars, close to 2.75 solar radii from the center of either star. So there will quite likely be mass loss when the first star quits burning hydrogen, but that is dependent on exactly how big the star is when it reaches that stage (which depends on how much mass it loses by then, which could be quite a bit). The story gets more complicated after that, but I'm really intrigued by this problem. I'll have to look into it if I get some time in the fall.

Padawan
2004-Jun-02, 09:25 AM
I think a star could hold itself together enough to withstand a nearby supernova. The real question is what happens when one star balloons up while the other is so close. Probably some mass transfer will occur, impacting future evolution. They will certainly affect each other quite profoundly.

Padawan, you should create some astro art about this!


Yeah, sure, sounds like something interesting. Right now i'm painting a huuuuge galaxy (4000 x 2500 pixels), it'll take quite some time, but maybe i can do both at the same time.