Going in Circles

Listen 05:25
The Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda Messier 31 M31.

The Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda Messier 31 M31.

This week, astronomers are studying a pair of stars that rotate around their common point once every 3 hours.
The stars are buried in a planetary nebula 14,000 light years from Earth in Canis Major.
Researchers think material from the bigger star of the pair bridges over onto the smaller but more energetic white dwarf star, causing intermittent nuclear bomb-sized explosions.
Typically, these stars start much farther apart, then spin in together. In this case they’re already almost touching and could explode as a nova sometime in a few thousand years.

The annual Leonid Meteor Shower peaks on the 17th this year – although the anticipated 20 meteors/hour is not especially impressive this year.

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