South Asian Insider
Two stars fight, and the image is stunning
Stars that have companions aren't always friendly to them, as evidenced by a stellar confrontation witnessed by astronomers.
They studied the binary star system, HD101584, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array of telescopes in Chile to find out what happened.
They discovered that the stars violently lashed out at each other. And it makes for a beautiful image.
The main star in the system inflated as it burned through its hydrogen stores and became a red giant, one of the last phases of stellar evolution before the star dies and becomes a white dwarf. Typical of red giants, the star swelled well beyond its original size, overtaking the other, lower-mass star.
But the small star lashed out in response, rather than withering away. It moved in a spiral motion toward the red giant's core. Collision was averted, but the aggressive move was enough to cause the red giant to lose its outer layers of gas. Those layers scattered and the star's core was exposed.
A study of the system was recently published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
"The star system HD101584 is special in the sense that this 'death process' was terminated prematurely and dramatically as a nearby low-mass companion star was engulfed by the giant," said Hans Olofsson, lead study author at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
The end result of the stellar fight created a stunning nebula, comprised of ejected material and rings of gas layers in different colors.
Witnessing an event like this provides a better understanding for what our sun will go through as it evolves.
"Currently, we can describe the death processes common to many Sun-like stars, but we cannot explain why or exactly how they happen," said Sofia Ramstedt, study co-author from Uppsala University in Sweden. "HD101584 gives us important clues to solve this puzzle since it is currently in a short transitional phase between better studied evolutionary stages.
With detailed images of the environment of HD101584 we can make the connection between the giant star it was before, and the stellar remnant it will soon become."
Future telescopes will enable astronomers to get a better look at the stars and determine more about them. For now, the star pair is too distant from us, and the stars are too close together, to learn more.
Coronavirus update: H-1B workers seek 180 instead of 60-day stay in US amid layoffs
Foreign IT professionals, a majority of them Indians with H-1B visas in the US, have urged the Trump administration to extend their permissible stay f...
Pompeo dials Jaishankar, says ‘our close cooperation is imperative to combat coronavirus’
In a telephonic conversation, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar regarding the coordination of effort...
Brooklyn man arrested for hoarding masks, coughing on FBI agents
A Brooklyn man claiming to be infected with the coronavirus coughed on FBI agents who were investigating him for hoarding medical supplies, the US Att...
Will the coronavirus kill the oil industry and help save the climate?
The plunging demand for oil wrought by the coronavirus pandemic combined with a savage price war has left the fossil fuel industry broken and in survi...
How to sustain a long lockdown
By now, we have all seen the heart-wrenching images of migrants in Delhi scrambling to board buses out of the city. If even a small number of them wer...
Fake WhatsApp messages spurred migrants’ exodus from Delhi to UP, say officials
Fake messages widely circulated on social media could have played a key role in spurring the exodus of migrants from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh, said stat...
One-third of migrant workers could be infected with Covid-19: Centre tells SC
The government told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that there is a possibility that three out of 10 people moving from cities to rural areas are carryin...
India coronavirus cases rise amid fears true figure much higher
Low levels of testing and poor access to healthcare means many people not reporting Doubt has been cast over India’s claim that it has no community...
Coronavirus update: India bans exports of Trump-backed virus drug as global demand surges
US?President Donald Trump has vowed to make the medication widely available to fight the pandemic, calling the drug a “game changer” in the treatment ...
China claims it beat coronavirus but does anyone believe it? 'The truth has always been a casualty
As China and the United States race to restart their economies amid a global pandemic, foreign affairs experts say Beijing's claim of a slowdown of CO...
© All rights Reserved. The south Asian, Published Weekly from New york.