Binary Stars in ‘Lost In Space’ Ending Could Be a Real Place In Our Galaxy

Binary stars are all the rage in science fiction again. After Luke Skywalker wistfully ‘ And now, the ending of the new (spoiler alert!

‘Lost In Space’ Ending: Binary Stars Could Be This Real Milky Way Location

Binary stars are all the rage in science fiction again. After Luke Skywalker wistfully looked at out at a binary sunset in 1977 in the first Star Wars, binary stars popped up in the debut of Star Trek: Discovery in late 2017. And now, the ending of the new (spoiler alert!) Lost In Space ‘ out this past Friday on Netflix ‘ puts the Robinson family on the edge of a mysterious binary star system, too. But, from the looks of it, this binary star system could be based on a real place. And that’s because it looks a lot like the contact binary star VFTS 352.

At the very end of episode 10 of Lost In Space, robotic alien tech transports the Robinsons’ Jupiter 2 spaceship to a funky looking star system, which is heavily implied to be the home star system of the alien robots who both help and harm humans throughout the show. In the first episode, the Robot draws two circles in the sand and shows it to Will Robinson, meaning, this is probably the Robot’s place of origin. But, the cool thing is, this specific image in the final episode looks a lot like VFTS 352, a very real, and very fascinating place in our own galaxy.

The binary star system VFTS 352 ‘ located in Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud ‘ is a ‘contact binary star.’ This means the stars orbits are so close together that they actually share atmospheres. The long-game of VFTS 352 is unknown, but some astronomers believe the two stars could either merge and cause a supernova, or eventually become a binary black hole.

Weirdly, this is the second binary star system encountered by characters in Lost In Space. The unnamed planet which the Robinsons and other human survivors are stranded on for most the show is part of a binary star system consisting of a star and a black hole. Most of the plot of the show involves Maureen Robinson (Molly Paker) worrying that the planet will get screwed over by the black hole if they stay on it too long. Though the process on the show is quicker than it would be real life, this is a very real problem for planets in binary star systems.

Lost In Space does not have a definite season 2 confirmation or launch date, yet. The show is streaming now on Netflix and just launched on Friday, April 13.

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  • Publisher: Inverse
  • Date: 2018-04-15T14:38:00.000000Z
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  • Twitter: @inversedotcom
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While you’re here, how about this:

A City-Sized ‘Telescope’ Could Watch Space

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A gravitational wave detector that's 2.5 miles long isn't cool. You know what's cool? A 25-mile-long gravitational wave detector.

That's the upshot of a series of talks given here Saturday (April 14) at the April meeting of the American Physical Society. The next generation of gravitational wave detectors will peer right up to the outer edge of the observable universe, looking for ripples in the very fabric of space-time, which Einstein predicted would occur when massive objects like black holes collide. But there are still some significant challenges standing in the way of their construction, presenters told the audience.

"The current detectors you might think are very sensitive," Matthew Evans, a physicist at MIT, told the audience. "And that's true, but they're also the least sensitive detectors with which you can [possibly] detect gravitational waves." [8 Ways You Can See Einstein's Theory of Relativity in Real Life]

Current detectors, of course, are nothing to sneeze at. When the 2.5-mile-long (4 kilometers) Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) first detected space-time growing and shrinking back in 2015 — the gravitational echo of a 1.3-billion-year-old collision between two black holes — it proved the existence of the vast, invisible gravitational waves that were once entirely theoretical, and led in just two years to a Nobel Prize for LIGO's creators.

But LIGO and its cousin, the 1.9-mile-long (3 km) Italian instrument Virgo, are fundamentally limited, the speakers said. Both detectors are only really capable of spotting gravitational waves from objects that are relatively near to Earth on the scale of the whole universe, said MIT physicist Salvatore Vitale. They're also limited in the types of objects they can detect.

  • Publisher: Live Science
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