Astronomers have discovered that stars may be cannibalizing each other. Researchers at Georgia State University discovered that there is a kind of glowing edge around cannibalizing stars. Those stars are close to enemy stars and they have bad intentions for them.
B emission stars
This specifically concerns the group B emission stars. These are stars that rotate very quickly and are the result of intensive interaction between pairs of stars that are close to each other. These are big stars: massive, bigger than our sun and that is quite dangerous. At least, that turns out to be especially dangerous, because they don’t seem to shy away from cannibalism. The B emission stars have a kind of ‘buddy’ with them and would ‘pull’ gas from these neighboring stars.
All this was seen with the CHARA Array, a powerful telescope that can be found in California in the United States. It’s at Mount Wilson. It was seen that the stars grow in size in pairs, and that gas forms a kind of bridge between the two. However, that bridge is not as balanced as you might think: one star seems to completely strip the other star of its gas. There is then only a hot core present. And you can also call that a ‘stellar’. There are few of those stars left.
Cannibalism among stars
Not all B-emission stars do this, but where it does happen it is often intense. Sometimes the stars sort of merge and a large, rapidly rotating star is developed. We often see stars as cute jets of light in the sky, but there is secretly a kind of bloodlust hidden in some of those stars. The question is also what happens if this fact repeats itself: do stars become bigger and more powerful? Or are stars linked to one other star and no new ones are added once the previous one has been sucked dry?
So many questions, but fortunately science continues: the research will soon also be expanded to other telescopes, such as the Hubble or the James Webb, which can of course shed a completely different light on the matter from space. Especially with the MIRI instrument to observe the gases, this should potentially yield interesting pictures and, above all, new insights.