Now.Space - There Are Big Things Hiding In The Big Dipper
Article for Now.Space on our growing knowledge of some peculiar stars in the Big Dipper.
Our Sun is one of a hundred billion stars in the Milky Way, which is one of a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. There are lots of things about our Sun that make it just like any other star, but there’s one factor that makes it somewhat unique: it flies solo.
Astronomers estimate that more than half of all stars are in binary systems, meaning that they have a companion. Stars in binaries orbit around a common center of mass and can be identified either photometrically (observing brightness of all light) or spectroscopically (observing spectral lines). When you look up at the night sky, a large fraction of the stars you can see with your naked eye will be binaries. But one of these binaries isn’t like the others…
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