W UMa Binary (Contact Phase)
A W UMa star or contact binary – contact phase
W UMa Binary (Contact Phase)
W UMa (W Ursae Majoris) is the prototype of a class of interacting binary stars in which each member reaches out to touch the other. The stars are so close to one another that the gravity of each visibly distorts the other into a balloon shape. This kind of system is also known as a contact binary. The two stars are typically of spectral classes F, G or K, so I have given them yellow and orange colours. This version of the image shows the stars before their atmospheres have merged, so they still have different colours.

Title: W UMa Binary (Contact Phase)

Category: Stars & Nebulae

Medium: Photoshop

Date: 2004

Client: Red Lemon Press


binary star contact star starspot
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