A surprising number of gigantic stars in the Milky Way galaxy have been discovered that are a part of close stellar duos. These pairs of stars have a very turbulent relationships, which are comparable to Robert Pattinson’s and Kristen Stewart’s latest romance troubles. One of the stars in these duos, known as the “vampire star,” sucks gas from the other, shrinking the victim star. At times, these two stars will combine to form one larger star.
Researchers found that massive O-type stars are incredibly hot and bright and play key roles in the evolution of galaxies. According to recent studies, more than 70 percent of these stars may have close companions, the “vampire stars,” making up binary systems in which two stars orbit one another.
“These stars are absolute behemoths,” study lead author Hugues Sana, of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, said in a statement. “They have 15 or more times the mass of our sun and can be up to a million times brighter.”
Rather than sucking blood from its victims like the vampires we see on tv or in books, “vampire stars” suck fresh hydrogen from their neighboring stars, increasing its mass and enabling it to live much longer than a single star of the same mass. The victim star is left with an exposed core, similar in appearance to a much younger star.
Type O stars, like “vampire stars,” make up less than 1 percent of the stars in the universe, but can make quite an impact on their surroundings. Winds and shocks from stars like these can trigger or halt the star formation process, according to researchers.
Researchers recently reported their findings in the July 27 issue of the journal Science. Looks like their will be no escaping the vampire craze!