Symbiotic star

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A symbiotic star is a type of binary star.[1] They are usually a white dwarf with a companion late sequence red giant. They are indicated by the exhibition of spectral lines of the highly contrasting temperatures of the red giant(~3000°K) and the white dwarf(~20 000°K). The white dwarf gains mass from stellar wind from the red giant or gravitational streaming.

Symbiotic stars are of particular interest to astronomers as they can be used to learn about stellar evolution. They are also vital in the study of stellar wind, ionized nebulae, and accretion[2] because of the unique interstellar dynamics present within the system.


The term 'symbiotic star' was first used in 1958 in a publication about 'stars of composite spectra'.[3] However, the distinct category of symbiotic stars had been previously known. They were first recognized as a class of stars with unique spectroscopic qualities by Annie Cannon near the beginning of the 20th century. Their binary nature was made clear by the simultaneous existence of the spectral lines indicative of a red giant and of a white dwarf or neutron star.[4]


  1. ^ Sokoloski, J. L. (June 20, 2003). "Symbiotic Stars as Laboratories for the Study of Accretion and Jets: A Call for Optical Monitoring". AAVSO 31. 
  2. ^ "Symbiotic binaries". Astrophysics Group. University of Exeter. 
  3. ^ Tomakazu, Kogure; Kam-Ching, Leung. "The Astrophysics of Emission-Line Stars". Springer Science & Business Media. p. 397. 
  4. ^ Joanna, Mikołajewska (2002). "Orbital and stellar parameters of symbiotic stars". ASP Conference Series xxx. 

External links[edit]

  • [1], list of symbiotic stars discovered by IPHAS