Thursday, April 02, 2009

Healthy young star mysteriously turns up dead

There's a fair amount of mystery surrounding the death of a star in galaxy NGC 266. (MSNBC) First, it was too big to explode. At 50-times the size of our own sun, it should have collapsed inward when it became unstable and formed a black hole (from what we understand, stars greater than 20 solar masses should become black holes). Second, why did it become unstable? It seemed too young to explode (its outer-shell was still rich in hydrogen and its core had not converted to a mass of iron ash).

One far-fetched possibility, the star was part of a binary system, it ate its sister star, and bam, there's a supernova where there shouldn't be one. Then again, maybe the current theory of stellar evolution is wrong and it needs to be rewritten.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.