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Red Giants and Neutron Stars and Gravitational Waves, Oh My!

24 Aug 2021, 16:00 UTC
Red Giants and Neutron Stars and Gravitational Waves, Oh My!
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Editor’s note: Astrobites is a graduate-student-run organization that digests astrophysical literature for undergraduate students. As part of the partnership between the AAS and astrobites, we occasionally repost astrobites content here at AAS Nova. We hope you enjoy this post from astrobites; the original can be viewed at astrobites.org.
Title: Prospects for Multimessenger Observations of Thorne-Żytkow Objects
Authors: Lindsay DeMarchi, J. R. Sanders, and Emily M. Levesque
First Author’s Institution: Northwestern University
Status: Published in ApJ

The universe is full of different types of stars, including big ones called red giants. But what if some of those red giants are hiding another star inside them?
Two Stars for the Price of One?
Artist’s illustration of a red giant star expelling mass at the end of its life. [JAXA]A Thorne-Żytkow object (TZO) is a very special type of hybrid object that consists of two stars: a red giant (or supergiant) and a neutron star that lies at the core of the red giant. One way a TZO could be created is from the evolution of a close binary of two massive stars (> 8 solar masses) orbiting each other. Once the more massive star from the pair reaches the end of its ...

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