Vampire Stars Discovered in Our Galaxy


Two stars merge to form a blue straggler in an artist's conception. Illustration courtesy ESA/NASA and G. Bacon/STScI

In the vastness of space, some stars feed from the energy of other stars to maintain a youthful appearance.  These “vampire” stars burn bright and blue, even as the stars around them slowly fade.  Although they were formed around the same time, it is the cannibalistic vampires that stand out, with their beauty blotting out the aging stars around them.  For it is these decaying stars that are inadvertently lending their life force to the vampires.

Scientists call them “blue stragglers”, which is a lot less romantic than Vampire Stars.  Astronomers say that it is hydrogen that these parasitic stars are siphoning from their neighbors that keep them burning hotter, thus bluer and more youthful.

For the first time, these blue stragglers have been discovered in the heart of the Milky Way.  Generally discovered in star clusters, our own blue stragglers can be seen in the dense region of stars and gas in the Milky Way’s bulge at the galaxy’s center.

To learn more about this amazing discovery, visit National Geographic’s article here:

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