The past few months have been marked by increasingly curious discoveries in the field of Astronomy. The researchers found that the Moon is “rusting” due to an interaction between the solar winds and the Earth, found 24 new planets “better than ours” and even observed the fastest star in the Milky Way.
Now scientists from the USA, Germany and Hong Kong are intrigued by a new star that falls outside the traditional classifications defined for its type. It is a spider star (from the English “Spider Star”), which shows behaviors that refer to arachnids.
Spider-stars are neutron stars that travel through space accompanied by another star, but unlike other neutron stars, they are very close to their companions and end up violently feeding on their surface, similar to a black widow spider. .
These stars are classified as “black widow”, which have companions with a mass less than one tenth of the Sun, usually between 0.02 and 0.03 solar masses, and “redback”, in reference to the Australian black widow spider, that have companions with a mass equivalent to more than a tenth of that of our Sun.
Another point of differentiation is that the companions of the redbacks eventually pass between them and the Earth, generating a temporary eclipse, something that does not occur with the black widow stars. However, the new spider star discovered by the researchers has hybrid characteristics.