Contact binary

Contact binary

In astronomy, a contact binary is a binary star system whose component stars are so close that they touch each other or have merged to share a common gaseous envelope. A binary system whose stars share an envelope may also be called an overcontact or common envelope binary. Almost all known contact binary systems are eclipsing binaries; eclipsing contact binaries are known as W Ursae Majoris variables, after their type star, W Ursae Majoris.

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