Despite moving at 18 miles per second, it still takes the Earth a year to make it around the Sun. For HM Cancri, an orbit takes a little bit less time: around five minutes. At that speed, HM Cancri is the fastest binary star pair ever discovered, with each white dwarf circling the other at a speed of 310 miles per second.
Initially, scientists were shocked that a solar pair could spin so quickly, and assumed it was a single, larger star whirling about. However, more recent studies that utilized Earth's second most powerful telescope found that the system wobbled more than expected from a single star. The only other explanation was a tightly bound pair of small stars.
Not only is HM Cancri the fastest binary star system every discovered, but it is almost the fastest binary star system possible. If they orbited each other any more quickly, say, on the order of three minutes per orbit, the stars would pull so close that they would begin siphoning helium off one another. At that point, the system would experience a special kind of supernova. The resulting blast would then slow down the system. So it looks like, even in space, speed kills.
The illustration shows the stars spiralling toward each other -- not circling each other rapidly.
Are you serious tundrasea....are you that clueless....come on now. I think the star is slinging out particles because of inertia...duh.
fastest binary star system every discovered
Ever not every.
Hmm, Tundrasea you are referring to the pinwheel effect that many binary stars have. The trail is stellar dust that is cause by the binary stars colliding stellar winds. The dust spirals off in the illustrated manner due to centrifugal force. The stars will eventually bump each other, creating a nova. Eventually one will become more powerful and will absorb the other at which point the stars will flatten into a rapidly spinning disk, which will create a special type of supernova.
Can I get a poster of that?
This is retarded stars don't revolve around each other. Stars revolve around a central point called the center of gravity. An example would be the earth and the moon revolve around a center of gravity located 100 miles below the surface of the earth.
If the two bodies are similar in mass their center of gravity will be at a point between the two bodies. The Earth/Moon center of gravity is inside the Earth because it is so much more massive than our moon.
Hope this helps.
^I was actually wondering this. Is the speed the velocity they are circling that middle point, or is it the speed of one relative to the other if it were standing still?
"fastest binary star system every discovered".
Iy guessy spelly checky didn'ty catchy thisy oney. Youy mighty actuallyy havey toy starty proofreadingy youry owny articlesy.
when they finally meet.. Critical Mass?
It was a shock to the scientists? I guess they weren't prepared for ludicrous speed.
my thoughts exatcly alias007, but i'm confused. why aren't they both plaid?
Europeanguy, the word you're looking for is "barycenter". And yes, from the looks of this binary star system it'd actually be between the two stars rather than inside one of them.
That's a good question about the time dilation. I wonder what other relativistic effects might be happening at the center. Two huge masses, huge speeds, close, gravity knurling space up like a kitchen rug.
I wonder if we could think of a way to view light from behind the stars and see whats happening. Interferometry subtracting the two stars light out?
Maybe they aren't starts at all.
starts = stars. I'm following the writers lead. :]
I want a poster too.
I can't believe the stupidity.
Time is a concept created by man, for men, on earth, based on OUR rotation, on OUR planet, AROUND our SUN.
IT DOESN'T APPLY ANYWHERE ELSE. FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE.
To Assume you know anything about TIME, other than your enslaved to it, by choice,,,,,is foolish, whats wrong with you people?
We truly have no idea how old anything is off our world.
To say something is billions of light years is simply a theory...
based on the speed of light x 60 seconds (in our time ,,lol) the sum of which is x by 60 again (our minutes -holy hannah) x 24 (our hours - yikes x 365 - our days = 1 of OUR YEARS,,,it doesn't apply anywhere else)
EEDOC, you have a better idea? :)
The vanity of mankind to assume our concept of "TIME" applies everywhere because we thought of it....laughable....
How about taking all of the planets circling a given sun,,,and average out the rotation amongest them all. At least then you have solar system based concept to apply all over the entire universe..seems a bit more fair than what we have done so far....but then again there billions of solar sytems,,,,maybe we should do them all before we go running off with our mouths about smart we are,,,,how much we know,,and how old something may or may NOT be.
PLEASE Someone tell me EEDOC is just a theory!
Seems to me that if a theory fits available facts and allows meaningful predictions it has at least a BASIS in reality. However time is measured; whatever its rate of passage; Time exists! If there were no time, what exactly separates events? Wake up EEDOC! Shut off your computer and go to bed.
A standardized measure of time is like a language; when you encounter someone that uses a different standard you must find common ground, you must TRANSLATE! This is exactly why physicists refer to frames of reference. It is only when a common frame cannot be found that one might CALL a language or a measurement system meaningless.
I think you may be confused about time as in a fundamental part of the universe and time like the arbitrary unit to measure it. You could make up a new time, your seconds could be as long as two other seconds, but you would just need a conversion factor and the two would be equivalent. Like saying temperature doesn't exist since we have multiple scales to measure it. Temperature still exists anyway independent of the way you measure it as does time.
Well, everything in science is arbitrary in some sense, isn't it? pick any unit or value on the real line EEDOC, and you can tell time with it. your argument is completely unnecessary. Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't time be described as the changing relationship between all particles in the universe? and, if that is the case and all subsequent units of time are based off that relationship then why wouldn't any arbitrary value work as a measurement of time so long as it had a constant conversion factor?
This galaxy was found 10 years ago. When I read it in the paper it stated that the only information about the galaxy that they do know is that it has two suns and they revolve around each other. The reason scientist have no further information is because this galaxy 'set up' (how its able to revolve around each other) defies our laws of gravity and no scientist want to touch that subject because it is almost impossible to do so. That was 10 years ago and it looks like scientist are looking more into now but it still looks like they have no information about how it is able to do what it does. Another thing is our laws of gravity shouldn't be laws anymore if they can't explain this galaxy.
no thatotherguy not every measure is arbitraty the "degrees kalvin" sytem for tempature is not arbitray for example it is based on absolute zero and the temp/vol/press of gases
so not quit everything is abitrary.
I wonder what would happen if one of those dwarf stars fell out of orbit (like the slingshot effect used by NASA) mabye it would accelerate and hit a planet... that would be catisrophic.
I'd say that is so cool. Don't you wish you can see that when you loo in the sky? And what's best about it is that they are the two fastest stars.
Whoops. Smeger is right. I overlooked that one. But my argument still holds to some extent. time can be measured at any instance back to the big bang (if you subscribe to the theory) in any units that anybody could possibly come up with for time. I feel rather foolish right now.
no critical mass?