‘Stellar vampires’ may feed on hidden stars in their systems

Some star systems believed to host two stellar bodies may actually have a hidden third — a traitorous star that could help push one of its sparkling companions toward the other, as the latter feasts on its victim like a vampire.

Such is a discovery made by University of Leeds scientists who analyzed data from the European Space Agency (ESA) Gaia mission, which pinpoints the positions of a thousand million stars throughout the Milky Way. The revelation could transform our understanding of how the most massive stars in the cosmos evolve. 

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