Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

7/30/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The largest stars in the galaxy have companions that draw life from them.

Humans and stars have a lot more in common than one would think. Never mind the fact that you and I are made of the same atoms that circulate through the stars, for it appears we have more in common than that. Just as every wealthy person seems to have a less wealthy and very needy companion nearby, so do stars. 

in this artist's rendition, a small star sucks life from its larger companion.

in this artist's rendition, a small star sucks life from its larger companion.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/30/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Stars, 99 percent, O class, binary, galaxies, evolution, supernova


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers believe that the galaxy's 1 percent, also known as "O class" stars, are being leeched by smaller companions as much as 70 percent of the time. O class stars are the largest stars in the galaxy comprising less than 1 percent of all stars. They matter because they are literally the "wealth creators" of the universe. Nevertheless, their lives are cut short as the galactic equivalent of the 99 percent draws life from them. 

When they have companion stars, they become known as binary star systems. The two stars, or sometimes more, orbit a common center of gravity and share mass, with the smaller star taxing the larger one of its life-sustaining hydrogen. 

Large O class stars are important because all the heavy metals in the galaxy come from them.

A bit similar to the "1 percenters" on Earth, the O class stars create the material from which life evolved. For example, if you happen to be wearing gold just now, then you are wearing metal forged in the heart of a supernova explosion. In fact, that's the only place where gold can be created.  

Scientists understand the process quite well. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, by far. Stars are nothing more than great balls of hydrogen gas in space and they are so massive that the gravity of all that hydrogen pressing inwards on itself causes fusion to occur in the core. Over time, a star eventually fuses all its hydrogen into helium. The helium is subsequently fused into successive heavier elements until iron is forged. Iron is like poison to a star, once iron forms in its core, it dies in a violent explosion known as a supernova. 

The violence of that blast causes heavier elements to fuse, which is where every element heavier than iron is formed. That material is scattered across the galaxy until a supergiant star's stellar wind or gravitational influence causes the debris to coalesce into a new, smaller star, often with an attendant solar system. 

So why does this matter?

Aside from being an interesting tidbit for conversation, and drawing an amusing parallel to our economic troubles, this reality affects astronomers and their understanding of the universe in a significant way. If it turns out that the majority of O class stars have companions, then it means previous calculations regarding the ages of nearby galaxies might be incorrect. Currently, galaxies are aged by measuring the light they emit. Astronomers make assumptions about that light, chief among them is the assumption that the light has been emitted by individual stars. 

However, if the most luminous stars have companions, then astronomers might find errors in their conclusions regarding the age of galaxies and their stage of evolution. 

Correcting these assumptions in important for understanding the nature of the universe around us. 
The scientists who discovered this peculiarly common fact have submitted their findings for review.

If true, then astronomers may have some adjusting to do with their understandings of the universe. 

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Technology

MARK OF THE BEAST: Microchip implants in humans becoming more viable Watch

Image of Chips are already being used to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A microchip implanted on human beings has chilling implications, conjuring up images of the "Mark of the Beast" as mentioned in the Book of revelations. Such an accessory would certainly be a boon for a totalitarian society - but there are scientists who say ... continue reading


Google, Internet search engine - branches off with DRONE DELIVERY Watch

Image of Google engineers coupled with experts on unmanned aerial vehicles, called UAVs, safely carried out more than 30 test flights this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The unquestioned leader of Internet search engines, Google, has branched off into a most unexpected venture. Google is now considering delivery with drone aircraft, running its first test flights earlier this month as part of "Project Wing," a secretive, ... continue reading


What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Forget the zombie apocalypse, the ROBOT APOCALYPSE is near! Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


You'll never believe what Amazon picked up for nearly $1 billion Watch

Image of Tech giant Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million, beating out several rival competitors including Google.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Defeating tech rivals Google and Yahoo, Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million in a move announced late on August 25 which is the largest deal in Amazon's 20-year history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The firm raised $20 ... continue reading


China bucks American tech giant Microsoft over fears of spying Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


Robots with an internet of their own! This is the way of the future Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


A confident Ballmer leaves Microsoft 'completely' to run the Clippers Watch

Image of Steve Ballmer has left all positions of authority at Microsoft, leaving behind the tech giant to run the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Ballmer paid a record $2 billion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight months after he ended his role as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft's board, a move that ends more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 58-year-old, who ... continue reading


Why did NASA turn the cameras off? Live feed from Space Station shows UFO, NASA cuts the feed Watch

Image of Is this evidence of a UFO? Or perhaps just venting gasses or debris from the ISS?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fans of the International Space Station got an eyeful recently when an alleged UFO appeared on NASA's live feed from the station. Curiously, the feed was interrupted as soon as the object appeared fueling rumors that NASA is engaged in a cover-up. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have you been hacked? New report says millions of personal information has been stolen Watch

Image of Russian hackers recently gathered customer individuals from more than 420,000 websites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russian hackers gathered information from over 420,000 websites, both smaller sites and "household name" sites, in an attempt to gather passwords to send out spam. LOS ANGLES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold Security, a Milwaukee-based firm, discovered the theft but ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter