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Star Within a Star: Thorne-Zytkow Object Discovered 89

astroengine writes: "A weird type of 'hybrid' star has been discovered nearly 40 years since it was first theorized — but until now has been curiously difficult to find. In 1975, renowned astrophysicists Kip Thorne, of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif., and Anna Zytkow, of the University of Cambridge, UK, assembled a theory on how a large dying star could swallow its neutron star binary partner, thus becoming a very rare type of stellar hybrid, nicknamed a Thorne-Zytkow object (or TZO). The neutron star — a dense husk of degenerate matter that was once a massive star long since gone supernova — would spiral into the red supergiant's core, interrupting normal fusion processes. According to the Thorne-Zytkow theory, after the two objects have merged, an excess of the elements rubidium, lithium and molybdenum will be generated by the hybrid. So astronomers have been on the lookout for stars in our galaxy, which is thought to contain only a few dozen of these objects at any one time, with this specific chemical signature in their atmospheres. Now, according to Emily Levesque of the University of Colorado Boulder and her team, a bona fide TZO has been discovered and their findings have been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters."
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Star Within a Star: Thorne-Zytkow Object Discovered

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  • Re:Yo Dawg (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dinfinity ( 2300094 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @05:36PM (#47167621)

    Hate to turn something funny into a serious note, but I'm pretty sure a lot (if not most) of the comments on the internet can already be predicted just by looking at the headline.

    I suggest calculating an originality score for all comments based on their similarity to all previous comments. If it could be based on all the comments you've personally encountered before, it would drastically cut down on the 'Oh god, not this bullshit again'-feeling we all have when perusing comment sections.

    On the other hand, sometimes you predict that a certain comment will have been made and feel satisfaction upon reading it.
    Maybe that's a bad thing, too.

  • by Prune ( 557140 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @05:51PM (#47167697)
    It's not a good idea to use words one doesn't understand just because they might sound cool. A husk is a left over outer shell or covering. A neutron star derives from the inner layers and core of the original star--the summary writers could hardly have chosen a more ill-fitting word. That the degenerate matter in a neutron star is a superfluid, juxtaposed with the more specific meaning of husk as the _dried_ outer portion of a fruit or nut, takes this misuse of the word into the realm of the ludicrous.

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