Using the Very large telescope an international team of astronomers from European southern Observatory, received a record clear pictures of the stars of the supergiant ETA Carinae. As expected, the explosion of this highly unstable lights when turning it into a supernova may be dangerous to life on Earth.
Photo: ESO/G. Weigelt
New images have allowed to find out new details about a double star in the constellation of Carina, open at the end of the XVI century Dutch Navigator and astronomer
Peter Kaiser. In particular, it was found out that between its two “components” at high speed to face the stellar wind, creating unusual twists and other structures.
That ETA Carinae consists of two massive stars rotating around each other and produce powerful stellar wind, reaching speeds of ten million miles an hour, it was known and earlier. Was known that the brightness of double stars varies considerably (the most vivid in all senses of the word demonstration of this was the so-called “Great outbreak” that began in 1837 and lasted 18 years). However, the space between the two stars to fully study the team was able for the first time.
Scientists also learned that the pressure of light in the larger of the two stars (its mass, according to various estimates, between 120 and 150 times the mass of the Sun) generates a flash, which celestial body has already lost at least a sixth of which is its very substance, which is almost equal to the mass of the second star entirely. According to scientists, the understanding of the speed with which This whale is losing substance, you need to understand when it will explode and imagine the consequences of this event, including: Earth (according to some of the present scenarios that can “break” with the planet’s ozone layer, thereby jeopardizing the existence of people and most other life forms). Also, scientists hope that the extracted information will enable to learn more about how leaked and will leak the evolution of binary stars.
The images obtained, as well as new data concerning the stars are presented in the scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.