New discovery could be a Thorne-Zytkow object

Jan 08, 2014 by Bob Yirka weblog
A neutron star. Image: NASA

(Phys.org) —Speaking at this year's American Astronomical Society meeting, Hubble Fellow, Emily Levesque reported that she and her colleagues at the University of Colorado have discovered a star that just might qualify as a Thorne-Zytkow object. The object has not been named as yet, however, as the team has not yet published its results.

A Thorne-Zytkow object, Kip Throne and Anna Zytkow theorized back in 1975, could come to exist when a dying red giant star swallows an orbiting neutron star. The result would be, the researchers suggested, a star with another smaller star embedded in its core and which would overall resemble other known types of but would emit a different and unique chemical signature. Since that time, many space scientists have scoured the heavens looking for such an —many candidates have been found, but thus far none have been confirmed. In this latest effort, the found object appears to closely resemble what Thorne and Zytkow predicted.

The object is was found in the Small Magellanic Cloud—Levesque reported that thus far, the research team has confirmed that it emits molybdenum, lithium and rubidium—all elements predicted by theory to exist in abundant amounts in the theoretical object. The original researchers suggested such elements would have to forge unusual pathways to burn their way through the dying stars outer parts due to an interruption of the fusion process in the red giant. The object was found, Levesque also reported, as part of a survey the team was conducting on 22 objects in the cloud using one of the Magellan telescopes (and its 21 foot diameter mirror) located in Chile's Atacama Desert.

Space scientists have speculated that if theory holds, there should be several Thorne-Zytkow objects in the Milky Way, though no one has found evidence yet. Commenting on the find, co-theorist Thorne suggested that the new discovery is the most promising yet found.

More work will have to be done before it will become known if the newly discovered specimen is truly a Thorne-Zytkow object. Specifically, scientists will focus on the elements found in the object as thus far there appears to be a little less of it than theory suggests.

Explore further: Hubble sees a stellar "sneezing fit"

More information: via Nature

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shavera
4.6 / 5 (9) Jan 08, 2014
Super Neat!
cantdrive85
1.1 / 5 (30) Jan 08, 2014
Pseudo-scientific metaphysical mumbo jumbo! Fodder for idiots.
Maggnus
4.4 / 5 (22) Jan 08, 2014
Pseudo-scientific metaphysical mumbo jumbo! Fodder for idiots.


He can't understand it, so he berates it. Moron!
davidivad
3 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2014
i wonder how long it will take to dwindle down. i hear they are supposed to burn faster due to a retarded nuclear reaction.
GSwift7
4.9 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2014
i hear they are supposed to burn faster due to a retarded nuclear reaction


you mean an accelerated nuclear reaction I assume? The core temp should be much hotter than a normal red giant core, so it will burn things that normally wouldn't burn, and form heavier elements. I'm not sure if this balances out to a shorter lifespan due to increased consumption, or a longer lifespan due to burning more fuel. It may go either way, depending on specific circumstances such as the mass of each of the progenitor stars and their ages.
ACW
4 / 5 (4) Jan 08, 2014
According to the theory, it will either supernova or become a TZO.

http://cow.physic...uide/tz/
mightyshadow007
5 / 5 (3) Jan 08, 2014
this article was very useful to me......... thank you.............
cantdrive85
1.2 / 5 (22) Jan 08, 2014
Pseudo-scientific metaphysical mumbo jumbo! Fodder for idiots.


He can't understand it, so he berates it. Moron!

Ooh, ooh, a star in a star. So tough to understand... I wonder how the magnetic fields of this abomination would react? Ooh, ooh, it's not even considered by the "hypothesis" so basically, GIGO!
GSwift7
5 / 5 (10) Jan 08, 2014
I wonder how the magnetic fields of this abomination would react? Ooh, ooh, it's not even considered by the "hypothesis" so basically, GIGO!


Actually, the magnetic field of a neutron star is far from ignored. In the case of a neutron star colliding with the core of a red giant, the magnetic field of the red giant would be inconsequential. Essentially, the neutron star would assimilate all the material of the former red giant core. Neutron stars can have a range of magnetic properties, depending on the magnetic field of the progenitor star prior to final collapse. The red giant core should be ripped apart and consumed by the neutron star without any ill effects to the neutron star or its magnetic field (as long as the total mass stays below the black hole limit).
Returners
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2014
Yes, it should have an incredible amount of nuclear fusion on the "surface" of the neutron star, as the pressure of the "ordinary atomic matter" from the other star's mass being pulled down by the ludicrous surface gravity of the neutron star should smash atoms with incredible ease compared to the core pressure of an ordinary star.

It's unfortunate the article doesn't give an "stats" such as mass or total luminosity, so we could compare the object to other neutron stars and other normal "mid-life" stars of similar masses, to see the similarities and differences.

The total luminosity obviously will vary by both object's original mass as stated, but also by composition because in general heavier elements have less energy available per unit mass in terms of ordinary stellar fusion.

AT any rate, the surface gravity of a neutron star makes the normal core conditions and surface gravity of a typical star look insignificant in comparison, therefore much faster stellar burning.
Returners
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2014
There is one thing I don't get though, when we look at the Crab Nebula, we see the expanding cloud from the Super Nova is actually being accelerated by the radiation (synchrotron) and therefore expanding away faster and faster.

Taking that into consideration, as well as the issue mentioned above, and object like this should be very short-lived in terms of stellar life-spans, since it should tear itself apart in both a top-down and a bottom-up manner simultaneously. Top-down due to the synchrotron effect. Bottom up due to the radiation pressure from the Neutron Star's surface fusion luminosity being more powerful than the force of gravity pulling it back down (past some equilibrium point above the N. Star surface,) so that it should expand and blow the ordinary matter away again. It doesn't necessarily have to be a Super Nova per se, it could be gradual or it could be really fast, just depends on the mass ratios and the type of elements from the second star.
cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (16) Jan 08, 2014
In the case of a neutron star colliding with the core of a red giant, the magnetic field of the red giant would be inconsequential.

Alrighty then. You got some maths or experiment that agrees with your statement?
Essentially, the neutron star would assimilate all the material of the former red giant core.
So the neutron star with it's more powerful magnetic field can get inside the red giant yet the giant wouldn't be consumed or otherwise distorted by these newly introduced fields to create this TZO?
The red giant core should be ripped apart and consumed by the neutron star without any ill effects to the neutron star or its magnetic field (as long as the total mass stays below the black hole limit).

So why and how is this TZO formed? Sounds like nonsensical blathering to me.
Returners
3 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2014
So why and how is this TZO formed? Sounds like nonsensical blathering to me.


A simple merger.

Think of the Neutron Star is a 50lbs piece of lead, and the other star is a 5 gallon bucket full of water to the brim. When the "lead" hit the water it sank to the bottom (perhaps a spiral effect at first in the real world,) some of the water over-flows the bucket, representing mass and energy beyond the stability of the system.

Teh inital mass of the water is a little less than 50 lbs. After "splash down" you lose some of the water, but you added 50lbs of lead, total mass is now like 80lbs in the space of the original ~40lbs of ordinary star.

For the most part the remaining object is semi-stable, it's just a hell of a lot more energetic than the original star.
Zephir_fan
Jan 08, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2014
returners:

Good points, and very close to the current theory, though I don't think the current theory is very firm.

If you check the wiki page on Thorne-Zytkow objects, they think it should either look something like a red giant or something like a Wolf-Rayet star. This depends on the temperature of the core, as I understand it. If the core is on the cool side, then it will behave as a red giant and eventually the whole outer shell of the red giant will collapse back in. (I figure you'll probably get a supernova then). Or, if the core begins burning hot enough after absorbing the red giant core, it will create a massive solar wind and begin shedding material copiously, blowing off the shell of the red giant and then continuing to emit material from the core itself.
GSwift7
4.3 / 5 (4) Jan 09, 2014
Alrighty then. You got some maths or experiment that agrees with your statement?


It's a simple matter of density. The neutron star is like a bullet going through air compared to the red giant core. It won't even notice it.

yet the giant wouldn't be consumed or otherwise distorted by these newly introduced fields to create this TZO?


Oh, it'll disrupt the hell out of the red giant. This is a catastrophic event for the star that merged with the neutron star. It doesn't actually need to start out looking like a red giant. That's how it ends up, after the merger. Well, that's one of two ways it can end up, depending on the mass/temperature (see previous post).

I know, you're suggesting that the EM forces might over-power the gravity and pressure somehow? Well, this is a very violent event, like a hydrogen bomb going off. Hydrogen bombs have strong EM fields too, but you don't see that affect the explosion much. Same here.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (10) Jan 09, 2014
Hydrogen bombs have strong EM fields too, but you don't see that affect the explosion much. Same here.

You would do yourself a favor by looking into that a bit further. There is a reason the DOE employ gentleman like the preeminent plasma physicist Anthony Peratt (Acting Director, National Security, Nuclear Nonproliferation Directorate, USDOE, 1998.) to watch over the nations nuclear arsenal. You won't hear people "in the know" to say such silly moronic things.

Also, please clarify. Will the RD "not even notice it" or will it be "a catastrophic event for the star that merged with the neutron star."? Seems as if your comment contradicts itself, not unlike the "hypothesis".

I know, you're suggesting that the EM forces might over-power the gravity and pressure somehow?

Somehow? How about because the EM forces are a thousand trillion trillion trillion times stronger than the gravitational force. Maybe, just maybe.
Maggnus
4.3 / 5 (12) Jan 09, 2014
cantdrive, your continued attempts to salvage that theory are tedious. Go back to watching for Saturn to change its orbit again.
rockwolf1000
1.4 / 5 (7) Jan 09, 2014
Hydrogen bombs have strong EM fields too, but you don't see that affect the explosion much. Same here.


You would do yourself a favor by looking into that a bit further. There is a reason the DOE employ gentleman like the preeminent plasma physicist Anthony Peratt (Acting Director, National Security, Nuclear Nonproliferation Directorate, USDOE, 1998.) to watch over the nations nuclear arsenal. You won't hear people "in the know" to say such silly moronic things.

Also, please clarify. Will the RD "not even notice it" or will it be "a catastrophic event for the star that merged with the neutron star."? Seems as if your comment contradicts itself, not unlike the "hypothesis".

I know, you're suggesting that the EM forces might over-power the gravity and pressure somehow?

Somehow? How about because the EM forces are a thousand trillion trillion trillion times stronger than the gravitational force. Maybe, just maybe.

What's an RD?
GSwift7
5 / 5 (7) Jan 09, 2014
You won't hear people "in the know" to say such silly moronic things


Nah, I'm going to stand by my statement. The EM of a hydrogen bomb explosion does next to nothing to change the physical shape or force of the explosion. The flash of light (yes that's EM) cooks the air around the explosion (and everything else) but it's absorbed by anything in its path instantly. That causes a kinetic shockwave. From then on, it's all about the pressure and the temperature. Stellar explosions and such are just like that.

Your tone suggests that you're a troll, so I wonder if it's worth replying to you, but the others in the thread deserve to see it.

Yeah, that one part was a bit vague. The neutron star won't even notice the merger, but the less dense companion will face a dire catastrophy.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (9) Jan 09, 2014
What's an RD?


That came from cantdrive's rant about my post, so you'll have to ask him what RD means. I am guessing that he's confused (yet again) and has begun talking about a red dwarf (RD), which really doesn't have anything to do with this. I just went on as if he had said red giant, assuming that's what he meant, since that's what we were talking about.
dtalbot8
1 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2014
Don't you just hate bad science journalism? I didn't think the line "the research team has confirmed that it emits molybdenum, lithium and rubidium" made sense (is the star shooting out beams of metal?) and sure enough the Nature article says "The star is enriched in lithium, rubidium and molybdenum. "
GSwift7
5 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2014
I didn't think the line "the research team has confirmed that it emits molybdenum, lithium and rubidium" made sense (is the star shooting out beams of metal?)


Actually, these materials are being ejected from the star in its solar wind. Check out the wiki pages on Thorne-Zytkow object and the associated page on Wolf-Rayet stars. It's not a beam of metal, but rather a detectable amount of these heavy elements in the star's solar wind. The dopler shift caused by high velocity is detectable as a broadening of the emission/absorbtion lines.
The Shootist
5 / 5 (4) Jan 14, 2014
Pseudo-scientific metaphysical mumbo jumbo! Fodder for idiots.


can't you go where your utter lack of originality and complete asshatedness might be better appreciated? Hell, omatumr (Oliver K Manual, Ph.D. http://omatumr.com/) was far more entertaining, and intelligent, than you will ever be (and he is certifiable).
Maggnus
5 / 5 (4) Jan 14, 2014
Shootest I agree with you complete on this subject, but I have an honest question for you. You recognize the EU theory to be the garbage it is, and obviously are aware of Manuel's iron sun/supernova Earth quackery and also recognize it for what it is. Given you appear to have a reasonable understanding of science, how can you continue to maintain your position that global warming is not occurring in the face of such overwhelming scientific support?

What is it about the science of global warming that has you so flustered? Don't quote Feynman at me, that's not an explanation. Tell me (us?) what you think is so wrong.
The Shootist
3 / 5 (2) Jan 14, 2014
I never said the climate hasn't warmed.

I do say the climate was warmer 1000 years ago than it is today. I also say the climate was cooler 200 years ago than today.

Which leaves us with: 1) The climate changes. A natural variation., 2) The climate today is within both historical and geological norms, as are all measured changes in the rate of change. 3) CO2 is about the weakest driver of "greenhouse" heating of any of the other candidate gases (CFCs, H2O, CH4), and has noticeable effects only in dryer and cooler weather. 4) Too many watermelons spoil the broth. A watermelon is a Red in Green clothing. A leftist, often an anarchist, clad in the sanguine and holy clothes of an "Earth Lover". .

When dairy farms return to Greenland and exist for ~300 years or more then our climate is as warm as 950CE.

This is some of the reasons I'm skeptical of AGW

Do more research. Stop shutting down needed power plants. This is the 21st Century, we are not supposed to be sitting in the dark.
kelin_kurzerogul
5 / 5 (2) Jan 14, 2014
This post is the first time I've ever seen someone able to communicate a superficially (and I say that because I am taking your stats at face value) logical argument for skepticism of global warming. So congrats.
That said, my understanding is that what you refer to as a "natural variation" is occurring at an unprecedented rate, which would seem to be unnatural. Further presuming on your willingness to derail this comment stream, could you please cite some "measured changes in the rate of change" that are within geo-historical norms? All the data I've seen, going back to the last ice age, appear to contradict this. Note I am not arguing with you regarding it being warmer in 950 than it is today, I am only challenging your assertions on rate of change.
Regarding your third point, it follows that the arctic would be noticeably affected by CO2. Are you contending that Arctic melt will not dramatically affect global temperatures? (As an aside, I don't believe the arctic was ice-free (cont)
The Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2014
Yes. Unprecedented rate. Hmm.

11500 years ago, the southern coast of England went from a temperate deciduous forest to frozen tundra in something less that 100 years, some scholars say as little as several decades).

In c.1250 CE the polar ice pack had never, in the recorded memory of man, extended south of Iceland. By c.1350CE Iceland was completely Icebound. The pack ice did not break for perhaps 20 years. Trade with Iceland had to be conducted over the pack ice from ships miles from shore.

So, no. I have seen NO sign of climate change on anything close to the order noted above (and I'm an old guy). Something on the order of the above would be Greenland becoming generally ice free within a time of 60 years. Or commercial vineyards operating in Scotland for several hundreds of years. It is still too cold for commercial vineyards in Scotland but there were vineyards of apparent high quality both in Roman and Medieval times.
The Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2014
However, my main support for AGW skepticism comes from Freeman Dyson, whose very lack of credentials overshadows everyone in the Climate field. Smartest man never to win the Nobel has studied Climate and concluded the alarmists are alarmists and that their maths are bad.

And, Harvard professor Russell Sietz. "More, and better data are needed."

And, MIT Professor Richard Lindzen, "The changes that have occurred due to global warning are too small to account for," he told WBZ-TV. "It has nothing to do with global warming, it has to do with where we live." "Global warming, climate change, all these things are just a dream come true for politicians. The opportunities for taxation, for policies, for control, for crony capitalism are just immense, you can see their eyes bulge," he says.

Lindzen endorses sensible preparedness and environmental protection, but sees what he terms "catastrophism" in the climate change horror stories.

Yes. "You can see the politicians eyes bulge."
rockwolf1000
3 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2014
However, my main support for AGW skepticism comes from Freeman Dyson, whose very lack of credentials overshadows everyone in the Climate field. Smartest man never to win the Nobel has studied Climate and concluded the alarmists are alarmists and that their maths are bad.

Lindzen endorses sensible preparedness and environmental protection, but sees what he terms "catastrophism" in the climate change horror stories.

Yes. "You can see the politicians eyes bulge."

Ha Ha sure you can. Your saying politicians on the left and the right are coming together with a great conspiracy to tax and control us yet none have broken ranks to spill the beans. That reminds me of a Supertramp song. Dreamer... you know you are a dreamer. Old people are naive. Have you been asked to help the Somali king recently?
The Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2014
No great conspiracy. Nothing different than giving Google preferential tax status, or shutting down coal fired power plants, so that GE can replace them with brand new turbines. Climate change® has great potential for increasing tax revenues and giving favors to your buddies, not matter the right or left of it. The difference being the GOP won't, usually, do anything to pooch the economy. The democrat, not so much.

But the fellow you're ha ha ing is a MIT doyen. Go complain to him, or Dyson for that matter.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2014
Climate change® has great potential for increasing tax revenues and giving favors to your buddies

@Shootist
now this may be true, but...
what about people here who just support the data and the science?
has studied Climate and concluded the alarmists are alarmists and that their maths are bad

I would like to see the evidence of this, if you dont mind
MIT Professor Richard Lindzen

Lindzen believes in AGW... he just says it is not as bad as people think, BUT
big BUT here
he was also wrong about
-Claiming that the link between smoking and lung cancer is "weak."
-Satellite measurements showing no warming
-Decrease in water vapor would allow carbon dioxide to escape from the atmosphere. (He has since accepted this as refuted and calls it an "old view.")

and more
go here
http://rationalwi..._Lindzen

the last there is why some may "haha" him...

i dont know/care

Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2014
Freeman Dyson, whose very lack of credentials overshadows everyone in the Climate field. Smartest man never to win the Nobel has studied Climate and concluded the alarmists are alarmists and that their maths are bad.

@Shootist
and THIS is truly puzzling, to me
why
WHY
would you take the word of someone who has studied climate but has no credentials.
if he was capable of studying it and making honest, intelligent decisions that make sense, and could perform the "maths" that he concludes
their maths are bad.

then he would be able to perform maths and logical explanations and could become a leader in the field... but instead he is what?

Where is the PROOF
so fas as I have seen, the logic and math and science tell a story, and it does NOT support Dysons view, whereas it DOES support global warming

and at this point, i would rather look to sources that can be proven (science) than at a man

no matter HOW smart he thinks he is, or how popular he becomes
Maggnus
5 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2014
I'm sorry I asked this of Shootist in this thread. This is all off topic, and should be taken to another thread, say the "we should be talking about this" one. My apologies to those trying to read about this T-Z object.
rockwolf1000
4 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2014
No great conspiracy. Nothing different than giving Google preferential tax status, or shutting down coal fired power plants, so that GE can replace them with brand new turbines. Climate change® has great potential for increasing tax revenues and giving favors to your buddies, not matter the right or left of it. The difference being the GOP won't, usually, do anything to pooch the economy. The democrat, not so much.

But the fellow you're ha ha ing is a MIT doyen. Go complain to him, or Dyson for that matter.

And big oil does none of this right? Here in Alberta the government gives the oil and gas industry all kinds of incentives and tax breaks. Dyson??? What does he know? Not much by the looks of it. "The polar bears will be fine" Can he back that up with a guarantee?? Not likely.
The Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2014
I'm not taking Dyson at face value Stumps. I'm adding Dyson to all the rest listed above. And what, if not study, do the climatologists do, but study? Dyson was paid by DoD to be a climate scientist, if you were not aware back when they were attempting weather control.

Anyway, Dyson's specialty is data synthesis and modeling. He critiqued the various climate models and found them lacking. It is at your peril to discount anything Freeman Dyson says about most any technical subject. He has never been one to take a stand without being willing to vigorously defend it.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Jan 16, 2014
Anyway, Dyson's specialty is data synthesis and modeling. He critiqued the various climate models and found them lacking. It is at your peril to discount anything Freeman Dyson says about most any technical subject. He has never been one to take a stand without being willing to vigorously defend it.

@Shootist
I dont doubt he is willing to defend his position.
As for discounting him... I will do what I always do. I will listen, then I will research and learn and make a decision/judgment call based on as much info as I can

but i dont like obviously stupid stuff... just sayin...
The Shootist
1 / 5 (2) Jan 16, 2014
When dairy farms have returned to Greenland, and remain extant for 4 centuries, then the climate will have warmed to what it was 1000 years ago and it warmed to that state without any anthropomorphic "greenhouse gas" forcing.

Dyson says, "The polar bears will be fine".

Climate change is a politician's dream.

The above three facts, dairy farms, Dyson's statement and the truth about politicians: these three are sufficient to doubt anything coming out of Hanson, Mann, et. al.

We need more study of Earth's climate, and we need to continually develop new energy technology, but we don't need to shut down Western Civilization to do so.
rockwolf1000
2 / 5 (3) Jan 16, 2014

Dyson says, "The polar bears will be fine".

Climate change is a politician's dream.

The above three facts, dairy farms, Dyson's statement and the truth about politicians: these three are sufficient to doubt anything coming out of Hanson, Mann, et. al.

We need more study of Earth's climate, and we need to continually develop new energy technology, but we don't need to shut down Western Civilization to do so.


Dyson's statement is NOT a fact. Nor is your statement about politicians.

What proof do you present that a transition to a new energy paradigm will "shut down" western civilization? Green energy produces all kinds of jobs, perhaps more than the petroleum industry. I believe in a past life you worried about how the invention of the car would shut down the western economy because farriers and harness makers would be out of work. (Actually I don't believe that but you get my point no doubt)

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