There’s a new paper from members of the UW Massive Stars research group, this time on the discovery of a strange binary system in the galaxy M33! Led by former UW graduate student (and current postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas) Kristen Garofali, this paper describes optical and X-ray observations of a strange object first discovered in archival Chandra X-ray Observatory images. Kristen’s work used optical spectra from the Gemini-North telescope to classify the primary star in this binary as a carbon-rich Wolf-Rayet star; the companion is likely an O-star, making this a binary with two incredibly hot and massive stars! Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observations show that these two stars are driving incredibly strong winds from their surfaces that appear to be colliding and releasing huge amounts of energy! It’s the first binary system of its kind discovered in M33. The paper is currently in press with ApJ and can be found on arXiv.