Double star spotted in final death throes before explosion. The one of a kind stellar system is the hottest and most massive double star system they have ever seen, providing a rare glimpse into what is believed to be a relatively brief cosmic event.
The two stars being dubbed as, VFTS 352, were found 160,000 light-years away in the Tarantula Nebula by the European South Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. Both of the stars are nearly identical in size, with a combined mass of 57 times greater than the Sun, which simply means that one is not sucking material from the other – rather, they are likely sharing 30% of their material leading to a “bridge” forming between their two connected surfaces.
The two stars, classed as O-type stars that shine blue-white, have surface temperatures of more than 40,000 degrees Celsius (72,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and complete an orbit of each other in just one Earth day. And they say that double systems like this may be the main source of certain elements such as oxygen in the universe.
But unfortunately, these celestial lovers won’t last for long, and it can end in a couple ways, both of them called a “cataclysmic fate” and both quite spectacular. Right now, scientists don’t know which route the Tarantula Nebula’s double star will take.
In the first option, they conjoin to form one huge, rapidly spinning, very magnetic, and very massive star. This union will end in fireworks. If it keeps spinning rapidly it might end its life in one of the most energetic explosions in the Universe, known as a long-duration gamma-ray burst, ” said scientist Hugues Sana.
Through this supernova explosion, the doomed pair of stars would be transformed into a pair of closely orbiting black holes. And these black holes would become a source of gravitational waves.
According to reports, this would be the most fascinating outcome because it would give scientists an opportunity to see something they’ve never seen before and could lead to an “observational breakthrough in the field of stellar astrophysics”.
This phenomenon has never been seen firsthand. If the Tarantula Nebula double star turns into two black holes, scientists may finally be able to witness it.