Stars colliding

Sorry if this has been asked before, but I didn’t find anything in a search.

Are there any known instances of stellar collision? It must happen occasionally. I know space is huge and nearly empty, but with 400 billion stars in each of 100 billion galaxies, and gravity being always attractive, it surely happens from time to time. Any pictures?


Yup, they sometimes collide, and the Hubble has images of it. Well, OK, these are supernovae, but still…

Here are some more.

Try Google Images, search under “colliding stars”.

Stars aren’t like billiard balls, calmly rolling in one direction until they carom off each other. As two stars approach, their mutual gravity will cause them to distend and possibly drive one or both into supernova. NASA’s got tons of cool pics of this sort of thing.

I am confused. I thought that most (non-super) nova were a binary pair, one a dwarf or such. It draws off gas from the other and when enough collects, pow. A cycle that can repeat several times. A supernova is (usually?) a large star that is losing it’s more efficient fuels, can’t hold off the gravity pressure, implodes a bit, and kerpow. A one shot deal.

When two (regular) stars get near enough, the gasses of both would get pulled towards each other. (Roche’s limit and all.) I don’t see a nova happening at that point. I think you would generally see some breakup into blobs, which would then coallesce into 1 or more objects, the largest being star(s) and the smaller not. Even if it you end up with 1 star, if there was plenty of hydrogen in the original stars, there shouldn’t be a supernova for a long, long, time.