Using more than two decades of data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have crafted a stunning new video of a stellar eruption that occurred about 180 years ago.
The time-lapse video uses Chandra observations from 1999, 2003, 2009, 2014 and 2020 — along with data from the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton spacecraft — and traces the history of the starburst known as Eta carinae. This famous star system contains two massive stars. Scientists say that one of these two stars is about 90 times more massive than the Sun, while the other is about 30 times more massive. the sun.
The massive explosion, dubbed the “Great Eruption,” came from Eta Carinae. It is believed to be the result of the merger of two stars that originally belonged to a triple star system. The effects of the collision were seen in… Land In the mid-nineteenth century, a new video shows how Stellar eruption Since then it has continued to expand rapidly through space at speeds of up to 4.5 million miles per hour, according to a permit from NASA.
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“During this event, Eta Carinae ejaculated between 10 and 45 times Sun massNASA officials said in the statement. “This material became a dense pair of spherical gas clouds, now called a dwarf nebulaOn opposite sides of two stars.
The Homunculus Nebula is the bright blue cloud in the center of the image, which is fueled by high-energy X-rays produced by the two massive galaxies. stars, which are too close to be observed individually. It is surrounded by a bright orange ring of X-ray emissions that appears to be rapidly growing and expanding time.
“The new movie Chandra“And a deep, summary picture created by piecing together the data reveals important hints about the checkered history of Eta Carinae,” NASA officials said in the statement. “This includes the rapid expansion of the ring, and a previously unknown faint shell of X-rays outside it.”
The faint X-ray envelope is depicted in the image above, showing that it has a similar shape and orientation to the Homunculus Nebula, suggesting that both structures have a common origin, according to the release.
Based on the movement of gas clumps, astronomers believe that stellar material exploded away from Eta Carinae sometime between 1200 and 1800, long before the Big Bang was observed in 1843. As the explosion extended to spaceHe collided with interstellar material on his way. The collision then heated the material, creating the bright X-ray ring that was observed. However, scientists said the blast wave has now traveled far beyond the ring, since Eta Carinae’s X-ray brightness has diminished over time.
Their findings regarding the expansion of Eta Carinae were: Published in 2022 study In the Astrophysical Journal.
“We interpret this faint X-ray shell as a blast wave from the Big Bang of the 1840s,” said NASA’s Michael Corcoran. Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who led the study, said a permit From the Chandra X-ray Observatory. “It tells an important part of Etta Carina’s backstory that we wouldn’t have known otherwise.”
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