Astronomers captured this incredible image of a double-star system where a red giant star appears to have "engulfed the other (star) which, in turn, spiraled towards its partner provoking it into shedding its outer layers." The scientists spotted this astounding event using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in the Chilean Andes. From the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) announcement:
Thanks to new observations with ALMA, complemented by data from the ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX), Olofsson and his team now know that what happened in the double-star system HD101584 was akin to a stellar fight. As the main star puffed up into a red giant, it grew large enough to swallow its lower-mass partner. In response, the smaller star spiralled in towards the giant’s core but didn’t collide with it. Rather, this manoeuvre triggered the larger star into an outburst, leaving its gas layers dramatically scattered and its core exposed.
The team says the complex structure of the gas in the HD101584 nebula is due to the smaller star’s spiralling towards the red giant, as well as to the jets of gas that formed in this process. As a deadly blow to the already defeated gas layers, these jets blasted through the previously ejected material, forming the rings of gas and the bright bluish and reddish blobs seen in the nebula.
A silver lining of a stellar fight is that it helps astronomers to better understand the final evolution of stars like the Sun.
Here's the scientific paper: HD 101584: circumstellar characteristics and evolutionary status (Astronomy Astrophysics)
RIP Starship SN4 😭https://t.co/klPMtZHxjW pic.twitter.com/hrrElBXmSC — Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) May 29, 2020 SpaceX’s Starship SN4 prototype launch vehicle just exploded in a huge fireball during a static fire test in Boca Chica, Texas. While the Starship spacecraft is still early in development, the explosion doesn’t feel great leading up to the SpaceX-NASA historic […]
Astronaut David Scott re-created, in 1971 during the Apollo 15 mission, Galileo’s “falling bodies” experiment by dropping a hammer and feather on the moon at the same time. Simply, both fell at the same rate because there was no air resistance. screengrab via Wonders of Physics/YouTube (Digg)
On Tuesday evening, the night before NASA astronaut Bob Behnken was set to launch into orbit about a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, he launched his own rocket from Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
Game engines aren’t just the lifeblood of the video game industry. They may soon be the lifeblood of Hollywood. Since emerging in the late ’90s, the Unreal game engine has quickly become one of the world’s foremost tools for game creators. Now, Disney’s hit Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian is using Unreal as well. […]
Apple AirPods have become the default earbuds beloved by millions. Unfortunately, they also cost $159, so it’s no surprise that since they were first introduced in 2016, companies have battled to produce comparable headphones at a lower price. The UK-designed and engineered Veho STIX true wireless earphones may have cracked that particular problem, striking a […]
Instagram isn’t just for tweens and foodies. In fact, the image-heavy platform not only wants to mint new Instagram influencers — it also wants to make them rich. In the last few weeks, the company announced ad revenue sharing on IGTV videos, special badges you can buy from your favorite accounts through Instagram Live, merchandise […]