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Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die 5nvklj





Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die 9tpt39

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Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die

Dragon
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Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die Empty Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die

Post by Dragon Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:07 am

What happens when a star behaves like it exploded, but it's still there?

About 170 years ago, astronomers witnessed a major outburst by Eta Carinae, one of the brightest known stars in the Milky Way galaxy. The blast unleashed almost as much energy as a standard supernova explosion.

Yet Eta Carinae survived.

An explanation for the eruption has eluded astrophysicists. They can't take a time machine back to the mid-1800s to observe the outburst with modern technology.

Continued...
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Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:10 am

Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die Astronomersu
Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

This six-panel graphic illustrates a possible scenario for the powerful blast seen 170 years ago from the star system Eta Carinae.

1. Eta Carinae initially was a triple-star system. Two hefty stars (A and B) in the system are orbiting closely and a third companion C is orbiting much farther away.

2. When the most massive of the close binary stars (A) nears the end of its life, it begins to expand and dumps most of its material onto its slightly smaller sibling (B).

3. The sibling (B) bulks up to about 100 solar masses and becomes extremely bright. The donor star (A) has been stripped of its hydrogen layers, exposing its hot helium core. The mass transfer alters the gravitational balance of the system, and the helium-core star moves farther away from its monster sibling.

4. The helium-core star then interacts gravitationally with the outermost star (C), pulling it into the fray. The two stars trade places, and the outermost star gets kicked inward.

5. Star C, moving inward, interacts with the extremely massive sibling, creating a disk of material around the giant star.

6. Eventually, star C merges with the hefty star, producing an explosive event that forms bipolar lobes of material ejected from the monster sibling. Meanwhile, the surviving companion, A, settles into an elongated orbit around the merged pair. Every 5.5 years it passes through the giant star’s outer gaseous envelope, producing shock waves that are detected in X-rays.

Source / Image Courtesy


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Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die 334pu7m
Dragon
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Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die Empty Re: Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die

Post by Dragon Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 am



Rather than heading straight toward Earth, some of the light from the outburst rebounded or 'echoed' off of interstellar dust, and is just now arriving at Earth. This effect is called a light echo.


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Astronomers uncover new clues to the star that wouldn't die 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:12 am



A new study using data from NASA's NuSTAR space telescope suggests that the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years, Eta Carinae, is accelerating particles to high energies -- some of which may reach Earth as cosmic rays.

Cosmic rays with energies greater than 1 billion electron volts (eV) come to us from beyond our solar system. But because these particles -- electrons, protons and atomic nuclei -- all carry an electrical charge, they veer off course whenever they encounter magnetic fields. This scrambles their paths and masks their origins.


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