Wednesday, September 27, 2017

GIANT COSMIC BUBBLE SURROUNDS 'CARBON STAR'


 Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) have spotted a dying red star that has blown itself around an enormous, glowing bubble. According to the scientists, the star known as U Antilae erupted into a spasm of activity over a millennia ago, resulting in this big bubble.
 U Antilae is located about 900 light-years from Earth, in the southern constellation Antlia. This star has burned all of its hydrogen and helium and is currently in the 'asymptotic giant branch' (AGB), the last stage in the life cycle of a sun-like star before it becomes a superdense white dwarf.
 "Around 2,700 years ago, U Antliae went through a short period of rapid mass loss," ESO officials wrote in a statement. "During this period of only a few hundred years, the material making up the shell seen in the new ALMA data was ejected at high speed. Examination of this shell in further detail also shows some evidence of thin, wispy gas clouds known as filamentary substructures."
 "Shells such as the one around U Antliae show a rich variety of chemical compounds based on carbon and other elements," the officials wrote in the same statement. "They also help to recycle matter and contribute up to 70 percent of the dust between stars."
Read more about this fascinating story at: https://www.space.com/38202-carbon-star-bubble-alma-photos-video.html
Image Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/F. Kerschbaum

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