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Ep. 26, Page 26
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Comic 1924 - Ep. 26, Page 26

10th Jul 2015, 9:50 AM in Episode 26 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 10th Jul 2015, 9:50 AM edit delete
smbhax
Rare system of five stars discovered is the descriptive headline of a recent BBC article about just such a discovery 250 light years away from us: years of reading little pulsations in the light reaching Earth instruments has told astronomers that the system in all likelihood consists of two binary stars orbiting each other at a distance of 21 billion km (that's just over 4 times Neptune's distance from our Sun)—one of the binaries is a "contact binary," which means the two stars that make it up are so close together that their outer atmospheres are actually touching each other!, and the two stars in the other binary are only separated by a little over two diameters of our Sun—with a *fifth* star orbiting the detached binary. One of the astronomers involved calls systems with this many stars "extremely rare," adding only that NASA's Kepler telescope had discovered another quintuple system.

Speaking of which, Wikipedia lists two known quintuple system (with a third considered a dubious classification, apparently), three or four sextuple systems (including Castor, a star in the constellation Gemini, and one of the brightest in the night sky—the giant star Pollux in Gemini is even brighter though!), and two septuple (seven stars!) systems. No system of more than seven stars has been found...yet!

Comments:

moizmad 10th Jul 2015, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
moizmad
Is that them making the jump to light speed?
smbhax 11th Jul 2015, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
smbhax
Nope! They're just flying as fast as they can without breaking the laws of physics : )
cattservant 10th Jul 2015, 3:17 PM edit delete reply
cattservant
Caught them in the act,
but can she catch up to them?
smbhax 11th Jul 2015, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
smbhax
Hey good question, hmmmm