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http://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/219-news-2012/2143-ukirt-discovers-impossible-binary-stars: UKIRT discovers 'impossible' binary stars
Royal Astronomical Society

Direct link UKIRT discovers 'impossible' binary stars

4 Jul 2012, 14:54 UTC A team of astronomers have used the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Hawaii to discover four pairs of stars that orbit each other in less than 4 hours. Until now it was thought that such close-in binary stars could not exist. The new discoveries come from the telescope's Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) Transit Survey, and appear in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. http://star-www.herts.ac.uk/~dpi/close_mdwarfs.png (http://star-www.herts.ac.uk/~dpi/close_mdwarfs.png) Caption: This artist's impression shows the tightest of the new record breaking binary systems. Two active M4 type red dwarfs orbit each other every 2.5 hours, as they continue to spiral inwards. Eventually they will coalesce into a single star. Credit: J. Pinfield, for the RoPACS network Media contact Dr Robert MasseyRoyal Astronomical SocietyTel: +44 (0)20 7734 3307 / 4582 x214Mob: +44 (0)794 124 8035rm@ras.org.uk (mailto:rm@ras.org.uk) Science contacts Bas NefsLeiden ObservatoryTel: +31 (0)71 527 8439Mob: +31 (0)6 4159 1853nefs@strw.leidenuniv.nl (mailto:nefs@strw.leidenuniv.nl) Dr Jayne BirkbyLeiden ObservatoryTel: +31 (0)71527 5832birkby@strw.leidenuniv.nl (mailto:birkby@strw.leidenuniv.nl) Dr David PinfieldUniversity of HertfordshireLeads the European ROPACS network: http://star.herts.ac.uk/RoPACS/ (http://star.herts.ac.uk/RoPACS/) and is co-PI of the WFCAM Transit Survey (WTS).Tel: +44 (0)1707 284171d.j.pinfield@herts.ac.uk (mailto:d.j.pinfield@herts.ac.uk) Dr Simon HodgkinInstitute of AstronomyUniversity of Cambridge(Co-PI of WTS)Tel: +44 (0)1223 766657sth@ast.cam.ac.uk (mailto:sth@ast.cam.ac.uk)(http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/ (http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/)) Further information The team publish ...

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