Blue Straggler Secret Revealed by Hubble

Feb 27, 2014

Blue straggler stars are originally defined to be anomalous stars more luminous and bluer than the hydrogen-burning stars on the main sequence of a star cluster.  They are found in open star clusters, globular star clusters, the Galactic field, and dwarf spheroidal galaxies, yet their formation has been a puzzle for almost six decades.  How do these stars obtain the extra mass necessary to be brighter than they should be? Several formation pathways have been identified in the past decade, but recent work at UW-Madison has observationally confirmed the formation of a specific population of blue stragglers for the first time. Read the details in our Featured Science story!
 

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