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Popper's Star, HD 124448

HD 124448 was the first extreme helium star to be discovered (in 1942 by Daniel M. Popper), by now only a few dozens of that kind are known. These stars stand out by containing as good as no hydrogen, but extremely much helium. The luminosity for the little mass is enormous.
In March 2006 finally was discovered how these stars evolve. Two white dwarfs in a close orbit around each other merged to one star and thereby started again the long before abandoned nuclear fusion.

Constellation: Centaurus
Distance: 5528 light-years
Spectral class: B3p
Visual magnitude: 9.99
Luminosity: 10 000 * Sun
Mass: 1 * Sun
Diameter: 13 * Sun

Back: List of Special Stars part 2

03/11/2006

    Popper's Star, HD 124448
Photo: ESO Online Digitized Sky Survey

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