Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Colliding stars

  1. Nov 4, 2012 #1
    Are there any known examples of colliding stars? has the phenomena ever been observed?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Star collisions are extraordinarily rare [space is really big]. The most common of such events is called an inspiralling binary system, which takes a very long time to occur.
  4. Nov 5, 2012 #3

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    You also have a phenomenon call "blue stragglers" in clusters.

    Note that "collision" is really only a special case of "mass transfer", which we see all the time.
  5. Nov 5, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I like to call it "Head-On Mass Transfer". Remember to buckle up.
  6. Nov 10, 2012 #5
    Globular cluster stars are more likely to mass-transfer that way.
  7. Nov 10, 2012 #6
    Has anyone ever modeled a stellar collision between stars of reasonably close mass
  8. Nov 11, 2012 #7
    Gamma-ray bursts, a great high-energy flashes observed every day in the sky, are thought to be the pruducts of collision between two neutron stars. It is not a head-on collision (due to a very low probability of such an interaction), but it is a hot topic in astrophysics now.

    Here's a great introductory video about it. Not very relevant to head-on stuff, but hey, we all love big explosions, right?

    Edit: LVP_man, there are simulations in that link, and I'd guess the stars are of equal mass.
  9. Nov 11, 2012 #8
    That was a very interesting video, amazing it took six weeks of computing time to create the simulation of the merger event between two neutron stars
  10. Nov 16, 2012 #9
    wow that was an amazing clip...
    i presume the neutron stars would be revolving around each other at almost relativistic speeds..
    what a thought.....
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook