Mystery Solved: How Young Stars Appear In Old Clusters

“But surprisingly, bluer, brighter, hotter stars often appear in these older clusters anyway! Even in cases where there’s no evidence of a recent star-forming event, these blue straggler stars can frequently be found. For a long time, we thought the occasional merger of two low-mass stars gave rise to a heavier, blue star. But there’s an alternative.”

When stars are born, it normally happens in groups of thousands or more, all at once. They range from just 8% the mass of our Sun, which are dim, red, and long-lived, to dozens or even hundreds of times as massive: the brightest, bluest and shortest-lived stars of all. Because they burn through their fuel the fastest, these most massive stars cease to exist the most quickly. Yet even in the oldest star clusters available for study, stars that are blue and bright still appear! These blue stragglers were once thought to form from the merger of smaller, redder stars, but two recent studies now suggest an alternative: these stars are formed when one star siphons material off of a binary companion, increasing its own mass and creating a dead white dwarf out of its neighbor.

Celebrate The Return Of ‘Community’ With Art By Chip Zdarsky

By Joe Hughes

Community is back. The brilliant and comics friendly NBC comedy (has any other television show, ever, featured an issue of Scud The Disposable Assassin?) made its season five debut Thursday night, with series creator Dan Harmon running the show once more. At ComicsAlliance, we’ve been fans of the show pretty much from the beginning, and even if it never again quite reaches the heights it once achieved — season four wasn’t exactly great, but our fingers are crossed for this year — we’ll always celebrate the good times.

With that in mind, we figured now was a good time to look back at a piece of Community art by noted Applebee’s aficionado Chip Zdarsky, who we understand also draws that Sex Criminals comic all the kids are talking about.