This planetary nebula, Mz3, is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun.  The 1000-kilometer per second speed of the expelled gas, the light-year long length of the structure, and the magnetism of the star visible at the nebula's center, all imply  Mz3 is hiding a second, dimmer star that orbits close in to the bright star. A competing hypothesis holds that the central star's own spin and magnetic field are channeling the gas. (ESA, NASA's Hubble, JPL-CalTech)

This planetary nebula, Mz3, is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun. The 1000-kilometer per second speed of the expelled gas, the light-year long length of the structure, and the magnetism of the star visible at the nebula's center, all imply Mz3 is hiding a second, dimmer star that orbits close in to the bright star. A competing hypothesis holds that the central star's own spin and magnetic field are channeling the gas. (ESA, NASA's Hubble, JPL-CalTech)

XKCD "WHAT IF" is generally awesome, but today was particularly awesome for those of us who like math and like The Proclaimers and think space is really cool... so me.

XKCD "WHAT IF" is generally awesome, but today was particularly awesome for those of us who like math and like The Proclaimers and think space is really cool... so me.

Io (moon) Jupiter  Discovery Discovered by	Galileo Galilei Discovery date	January 8, 1610[1] Designations Alternative names	Jupiter I Adjective	Ionian Orbital characteristics Periapsis	420000 km (0.002807 AU) Apoapsis	423400 km (0.002830 AU) Mean orbit radius	421700 km (0.002819 AU) Eccentricity	0.0041 Orbital period	1.769137786 d (152853.5047 s, 42.45930686 h) Average orbital speed	17.334 km/s Inclination	2.21° (to the ecliptic) 0.05° (to Jupiter's equator) Satellite of	Jupiter Physical…

Io (moon) Jupiter Discovery Discovered by Galileo Galilei Discovery date January 8, 1610[1] Designations Alternative names Jupiter I Adjective Ionian Orbital characteristics Periapsis 420000 km (0.002807 AU) Apoapsis 423400 km (0.002830 AU) Mean orbit radius 421700 km (0.002819 AU) Eccentricity 0.0041 Orbital period 1.769137786 d (152853.5047 s, 42.45930686 h) Average orbital speed 17.334 km/s Inclination 2.21° (to the ecliptic) 0.05° (to Jupiter's equator) Satellite of Jupiter Physical…

The “Black Widow” Pulsar is moving through the galaxy at a speed of almost a million kilometers per hour. Its high-energy wind also has a dramatic effect on its companion star, which orbits the pulsar every 9.2 hours. (Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)...

The “Black Widow” Pulsar is moving through the galaxy at a speed of almost a million kilometers per hour. Its high-energy wind also has a dramatic effect on its companion star, which orbits the pulsar every 9.2 hours. (Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)...

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