Vampire Star, V445 Puppis Discovered, Sucks Energy From Stars
What is being called a Vampire Star has been discovered by astronomers, and it is named for the fact that it sucks energy from other stars in its constellation so that is can burn the brightest.
The star, called V445, is found in the constellation Puppis, and has been sucking the energy from other stars around it so that it can burn 250 times brighter. It is a double star system that astronomers think could be linked to exploding stars like Type la supernovae, which are used in the study of dark energy and the rate of the expansion of the universe.
Astronomers studying V445 think that it is the first nova discovered that contains no hydrogen.
Type Ia supernovae are thought to result from the explosions of white dwarfs, super-dense dead stars about the size of the Earth which were once the core of stars like the Sun and whose outer layers have been lost into space.
What is most common in Type la supernovae is the lack of hydrogen they produce. These are most common in systems where there are two stars, and when one of them is a white dwarf. When these white dwarfs act as 'stellar vampires' as they are called, they suck the energy from the other star, then they become too heavy, unstable, and explode.
Dr. Patrick Woudt from the University of Cape Town said this about V445:
"Whether V445 Puppis will eventually explode as a supernova, or if the current nova outburst has pre-empted that pathway by ejecting too much matter back into space is still unclear. But we have here a pretty good suspect for a future Type Ia supernova."