Nearly 75% of the biggest stars in the Universe live as couples.
But most of their relationships are anything but stable.
The partners are constantly disrupting one another…
And something like a third of these pairs will probably fuse to form a single star.
These brilliant blue “Type O” stars can be a million times brighter than our Sun and tens of times more massive.
They make up only a small fraction of all stars, but they have a big effect on everything around them.
One of the pair can become a vampire…
…gaining new vitality as it pulls greater and greater amounts of mass off of its companion…swelling to super size.
The vampire’s victim grows old before its time…. exposing it’s hot blue core – which can make it appear younger to astronomers expecting a star of that age to be a red super-giant.
And this relationship can end in disaster.
Such shocks can set-off – or slow down – the birth of stars nearby.
But their explosive endings can enrich the galaxy around them, making possible interesting developments…like life.
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Vampire stars can kill their partners. Pairs of brilliant blue Type "O" stars, a million times brighter than our Sun, disrupt the Galaxy when they swipe one another's hydrogen, merge, and explode. Such supernovas seed the galaxy with life’s elements.