September 30, 2022

Hardwood Paroxysm

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Betelgeuse, a brutal explosion on the “Shoulder of the Giant”, the red giant star in the constellation Orion

The explosion that caused a piece of Betelgeuse to be missing occurred in 2019 and has been imaged in recent weeks by the Hubble Telescope.

The “Giant’s shoulder»Do you regret even if His fate is sealed And the end is approaching, albeit with the extended times that rule the universe. Do we speak Arabic? Basically yes, because the reference is a file BetelgeuseAnd the red giant, the second brightest star in the constellation Orion (only Riegel surpasses it). Its name is derived from the term Yad Gemini: Actually under the armpit or shoulder of the giant.

If it is at night, preferably between November and May when the constellation straddles the celestial equator and is visible from almost all places on Earth, then I searched The unmistakable shape of the mightyYou will have discovered, in addition to the famous belt, Biltelejus: it is at the northeastern summit and It is distinguished by its intense orange color that contrasts with the blue color of other stars in this region.

Well, in these weeks Hubble Space Telescopeoperated by NASA and the European Space Agency, is witnessing “direct” fire for the star from A catastrophic event occurred in 2019. a The brutal explosion lost a large part of its surface Dispersal into space a mass 400 billion times greater than that emitted in a typical solar flare. Massive “wound”: when interpreting what was collected by Hubble and other devices, scientists came to the conclusion that it was created A plume of ejected dust over a million miles in diameter, It equals 1.6 million kilometres. It’s really hard, for our standards, to get an idea of ​​the strength of this stellar earthquake.

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It was a terrible and unprecedented event. A study was published in Astrophysical Journal And coordinated by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Andrea Dobri He was leading the group of experts and did not hide his astonishment: “We have never seen such a huge mass ejection from the surface of a star; We have something on our hands that we don’t fully understand. However, this new scenario allows us to watch the evolution of Betelgeuse in real time.” Or cure as mentioned.

The explosion blew off a piece of the star’s lower atmosphere – photosphere – leaving behind a cold spot that was closed by the dust cloud from the explosion. The ejected portion of the surface, which weighs several times the weight of the Moon, has moved away into space and cooled to form A cloud of dust obscured the star’s light, causing partial blackening. Also, prior to the eruption, the red giant had a pulsating pattern, darkening and brightening over the course of 400 days. This feature is now gone, or is stuck in the alternative. “It is possible, Duprey notes, that the convective cells inside the star are still slipping around this pattern, disrupting the pattern. The star’s outer atmosphere may have returned to normal, but its surface may still be wobbly.

At first, scientists speculated that the star, 530 light years from Earth, was nearing the end: it seems instead that the violent explosion is not a sign of this event. confirm instead of Old stars lose mass. But even the ‘Shoulder of the Giant’ will not escape the end: at the end of his star life it will explode A supernova can also be seen from our planet. When will that happen soon? Almost 100,000 years – say scientists.

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