A star explosion from 180 years ago comes back to life in a new video

Chandra but Traces of the eruption are still present, and a time lapse has now been made Created by Compilation 20 Years of space telescope data to display the dynamic environment surrounding the stellar system.

The Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space in July 1999 and has settled into Earth orbit about 86,500 miles away Kilometers) in the space. Since then, it has become a telescope He observed many cosmic scenes at X-ray wavelengthsIt reveals new information about everything from star formation to the black holes that lie at the heart of galaxies.

Eta Carinae is located about 7,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Carinae. You may recognize this name, as one of First images from the Webb Space Telescope It was a stunning view of the “cosmic cliffs” in the Carina Nebula, a gaseous star-forming region in the nebula.

This time-lapse video was compiled from Chandra frames of Eta Carinae captured in 1999, 2003, 2009, 2014, and 2020. The blue light in the center of the structure represents the two stars in Eta Carinae, emitting high-energy X-rays. The surrounding orange bits are also from bright X-rays, but are part of the hazy cloud of gas surrounding the two stars.

Now, a team of researchers has directly measured the expansion of the X-ray envelope surrounding Eta Carinae and the two massive gas clouds surrounding it. It was their research published in Astrophysical Journal.

“We interpreted this faint X-ray shell as a blast wave from the Big Bang in the 1840s,” said study lead author Michael Corcoran, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Chandra. launch. “It tells an important part of Eta Carinae’s backstory that we wouldn’t have known otherwise.”

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When the great eruption occurred, Eta Carinae — made up of two stars 30 and 90 times the mass of the Sun, respectively — ejected between 10 and 45 times the mass of the Sun. This material formed spherical gas clouds called the dwarf nebula.

A drawing showing the X-ray envelope surrounding the star system and the nebula.

The team found that, Just like the Homunculus Nebula, the system’s X-ray shell likely originated from the Big Bang. Researchers assume that material had already been ejected from the system centuries before the Big Bang This ancient material was illuminated by X-rays when the Big Bang occurred.

“The shape of this faint X-ray envelope is a development in my mind,” study co-author Kenji Hamaguchi, a researcher at the University of Maryland and NASA Goddard, said in the same release. “It shows us that the dim crust, the dwarf, and the bright inner ring are all likely generated by explosions from the star system.”

The team concluded that the Big Bang It was likely Two separate explosions: first, an explosion of low-density gas that also emits X-rays, and then an ejection of dense gas that forms the dwarf nebula. The Big Bang itself may have been caused by a stellar merger, meaning that Eta Carinae was once a triple star system, not the binary it is today.

future Observations may shed more light on the origin of the explosion, even if it did not occur over the time interval. But video is a great way to see the dynamic nature of the universe from a static, somewhat sterile image. Shots we usually see.

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