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Dueling Stars Leave a Multicolored Cosmic Light Show

Dueling Stars Leave a Multicolored Cosmic Light Show

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The colours on this beautiful picture symbolize the pace and course of the system’s fuel, starting from blue (fuel shifting rapidly towards us) to purple (fuel shifting rapidly away from us). The stars that had been engaged within the combat are situated within the vivid dot on the middle of the rings of colourful fuel. (Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Olofsson et al. Acknowledgement: Robert Cumming)

A pair of binary stars that had been as soon as engaged in an intense cosmic brawl have left behind a lovely fuel cloud bursting with coloration, revealing clues about how the combat went down. The battle came about within the HD 101584 system, situated hundreds of light-years away within the constellation Centaurus, and the aftermath was captured by the 66 radio telescopes that make up the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.

Fortunately, magnificence can come from destruction, and that’s undoubtedly the case with this method.

As the system’s growing older star overvalued into a purple big, it grew giant sufficient to engulf its lower-mass companion. The smaller star then spiraled towards the core of its big neighbor. But as an alternative of colliding with it, the interplay precipitated the bigger star to dramatically shed its outer layers, creating the colourful fuel cloud you see above.

“Currently, we can describe the death processes common to many Sun-like stars, but we cannot explain why or exactly how they happen,” mentioned co-author Sofia Ramstedt of Sweden’s Uppsala University in a current press launch.


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“HD 101584 gives us important clues to solve this puzzle since it is currently in a short transitional phase between better studied evolutionary stages,” Ramstedt mentioned. “With detailed images of the environment of HD 101584 we can make the connection between the giant star it was before, and the stellar remnant it will soon become.”

Today’s telescopes enable astronomers to scour the fuel clouds round HD 101584 for clues concerning the stars inside, however the stars themselves are too distant and too close to one another to be resolved. At least for now.

When extra highly effective telescopes are full, such because the upcoming Extremely Large Telescope, we’ll have the ability to get a nearer have a look at the guts of this binary, offering much more details about the battle that came about there.

The analysis was revealed final 12 months within the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

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