Blue Straggler Creation Through Mass Transfer

An artist's conception showing a blue straggler being created by mass transfer in a binary star system. The giant star, seen in the upper left of the illustration, has lost hold of its outer envelope. This material is pulled towards its partner, forming an accretion disk, and is eventually consumed by the "proto-blue straggler", seen in the lower right of the illustration. Soon the giant star will donate the remainder of its envelope, leaving only the half-solar-mass white dwarf core (shown peaking through the giant's tenuous envelope) as the companion to the blue straggler.
Credit: A. M. Geller

I created this image to accompany our press release for Geller & Mathieu (2011)

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