Massive Star Makes Waves

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rob42
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Massive Star Makes Waves

Post by rob42 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:57 am

This stunning image is from the Spitzer Space Telescope. It's a view of the star Zeta Ophiuchus, a massive star plowing through the gas and dust floating in space.

Image

Author and Creator of the following: Phil Plait

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronom ... stars.html
Phil Plait wrote:I was wondering what to post for today; a short philosophical piece, a longer discussion of holidays and family, a pretty picture, or something quick and funny.

Then the Universe delivered unto me a picture perfect present: Behold!

Trust me, you want to see this bigger! This is a Spitzer Space Telescope view of the star Zeta Ophiuchus (or Zeta Oph to its friends), a massive star plowing through the gas and dust floating in space. Zeta Oph is a bruiser, with 20 times the Sun’s mass. It’s an incredibly luminous star, blasting out light at a rate 80,000 times higher than the Sun! Even at its distance of 400 light years or so, it should be one of the brightest stars in the sky … yet it actually appears relatively dim to the eye.

... That curving wave is roughly four light years long: That’s 40 trillion kilometers! The colors we see here represent different wavelengths of infrared light, well outside what the human eye can see, but are very clear to the Spitzer telescope, designed to see this flavor of light.
I just had to share this with you guys...

Happy Christmas to you all.

:mrgreen:
Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one.
–Albert Einstein.

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falkor
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Re: Massive Star Makes Waves

Post by falkor » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:40 pm


Zeta Oph is blasting out a fierce wind of subatomic particles (think of it as a super-solar wind) that expands around the star. Not only that, but the star itself is moving rapidly through the dust at a speed of about 25 kilometers per second (15 miles per second), so it’s violently compressing the material ahead of it. This creates that wave structure, which is similar to the wave off the bow of a boat, though more like the supersonic shock wave generated as a fighter jet screams through the air.


That curving wave is roughly four light years long: That’s 40 trillion kilometers! The colors we see here represent different wavelengths of infrared light, well outside what the human eye can see, but are very clear to the Spitzer telescope, designed to see this flavor of light.
will we survive long enough to ever be able to travel to these places? that's what I wonder

to even travel across our own star system is colossally expensive and dangerous

our technological progression towards exploring into another star system depends on WWIII not happening and also a natural world calamity being 100s of years off as well, it's a big ask! :blotto:

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