Beware HR 6819 is a vampire star

3 March 2022

HR 6819 is a binary star about 1120 light years from Earth. So far so good, binary stars are a dime a dozen in the Milky Way. But one member of the duo — though some astronomers speculate HR 6819 may be a three star system — which is about four times the size of the Sun, is sucking material away from its smaller counterpart. Astronomers have a special name for stars like this: vampire stars.

In binary systems where two stars are close together, it’s not uncommon for one star to “suck” away the atmosphere of the other – a phenomenon sometimes called “stellar vampirism”. The researchers believe they may have observed the immediate aftermath of a stellar vampire attack in HR 6819.

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