Nussbaumer, Harry Institut Für Astronomie, Zürich, Switzerland.
- Spectra and variability
- Evidence of binary systems
- Late-stage stellar evolution
- Interactive binary
- Symbiotic nova
- Nebular environment
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A double star system in the late stage of stellar evolution. A symbiotic star is a binary system and not a single star. The symbiotic phase represents a brief span in the life of the binary. Symbiotic stars are rare objects, and their distances are as a rule many hundreds of parsecs (1 parsec = 3.26 light-years). Thus, on ordinary photographic plates of the sky, symbiotic stars appear pointlike and are not resolved into two individual stars. On closer inspection, symbiotics are always associated with a nebular environment. The “near-official” list of symbiotic stars contains 188 safe entries; 15 of them are extragalactic, of which 1 lies in the dwarf galaxy Draco, 6 lie in the Small Magellanic Cloud, and 8 lie in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The list contains in addition 30 suspected candidates. See also: Local Group; Magellanic Clouds
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