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What does this mean actually?

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posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 01:42 PM

Long before the Bible's tale of Jonah being swallowed by a whale, a small wannabe star has emerged intact after being engulfed by a neighboring giant star, scientists say.

The victim was a brown dwarf, a failed star too small to sustain the nuclear reactions that ignites regular stars. The purpetrator was a red giant, an ancient star that once resembled our Sun but which puffed up to enormous size after its hydrogen fuel was depleted. The red giant has since expelled most of its gas into space and transformed into a dense, Earth-sized star called a white dwarfs.

Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, astronomers spied the binary system that remains: the brown and white dwarfs. The brown dwarf is thought to have survived being swallowed by its companion during the white dwarf's red giant phase.

The discovery, detailed in the Aug. 3 issue of the journal Nature, provides the first solid evidence that an object as small as a brown dwarf-which is just one step up from giant planet mass-can survive another star's red giant phase. Previously, only red dwarfs, stars with masses about a third that of our sun, have been known to withstand such events.

Does this really mean another star has had for breakfast another star, is this possible? it makes no sense to me.

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 01:59 PM
More massive objects encounter less massive ones and absorb them all the time... Examples that come to mind are blackholes sucking in matter from nearby stars, meteorites impacting Earth, or comets impacting Jupiter (all of which have been observed by mankind).

The neat thing about this situation is that the brown dwarf star (which is more than likely slightly larger than Jupiter, but 10-20 times more massive and containing more hydrogen) survived this encounter. This is the first time we've seen this occur with a brown dwarf, though similar situations have been observed with red dwarfs.

Basically, the reason it wasn't aborbed was because it was massive enough to fend off the other stars plans of gobbling it up.

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 02:13 PM
hahaha that is seriously funny

I never knew stars just like to gobble up each other, its like there is more to our universe that we actually know.... Hmmmmm

but thanks for the explaination very nice

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