(ORDO NEWS) — All stars, as soon as they begin to synthesize hydrogen, follow a certain life plan.
As they live, stars steadily become brighter and hotter until they become a fusion of other elements. Every star follows this path… except for the blue stragglers.
Blue stragglers still lie along the main sequence, which is a specific relationship between brightness and temperature that all hydrogen-fusing stars obey.
But the problem with blue stragglers is that they don’t have to be on the main sequence.
They should have died a long time ago. In fact, in the same cluster, astronomers can see many other stars of similar mass that have left the main sequence and are fusing heavier elements.
Astronomers don’t fully understand how blue stray stars form. One hypothesis is that they are the remnants of a merger between two stars of smaller mass.
In this scenario, the stars merge together. Initially, this combined star is huge and red because the extreme rotation blows it out of proportion. But after a while, it calms down, turning into a massive, bright, blue star.
In another scenario, blue stragglers form when one of the stars engulfs its neighbor, sucking in its mass. The cluster is the ideal environment for this kind of merger.
In fact, in any model, blue stragglers get a second life. They did not form in their current state at the same time as the other stars in the cluster.
So even though they should have died a long time ago, we can see them starting a new life after the merger.
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