This false-color image from the Curtis Schmidt Telescope in Chile shows a large star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The binary system LH54-425 is arrowed. It is located in the star cluster LH54.
Credit: Chris Smith and the University of Michigan Curtis Schmidt Telescope at CTIO.
Using NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite and ground-based telescopes, astronomers have determined, for the first time, the properties of a rare, extremely massive, and young binary star system.
The merger of two massive stars to make a single super star of over 80 suns could lead to an object like Eta Carinae, which might have looked like LH54-425 one million years ago.
Finding stars this massive so early in their life is very rare. These results expand our understanding of the nature of very massive binaries, which was not well understood. The system will eventually produce a very energetic supernova.
The system, known as LH54-425, is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. The binary consists of two O-stars, the most massive and luminous types of stars in the Universe.
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NASA's FUSE Satellite Catches Collision of Titans
by Bob Naeye - Goddard Space Flight Center.