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August 2017

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Star Within a Star

A star within a star!   This strange phenomenon was first proposed in 1975 by Kip Thorne and Anna Zytkow.  Thorne and Zytkow were discussing what it would look like if a neutron star, a hot dense star consisting entirely of neutrons, resided in the core of a typical main sequence star; after much work they wrote a paper about these unique stars and named them Thorne-Zytkow objects (TZO). This unique star is theorized to form when a dying red supergiant star swallows a compact, dead star.  This star is only able to from a binary system containing a red supergiant and a neutron star.   Red supergiant stars are colossal ranging in size from 200 to over 2,000 times larger than the sun, this extends past the orbit of saturn.  A neutron star in comparison is only about 12 miles in diameter with a mass of 1.4 times that of the…