Category: star

M43: Orion Falls 

M43: Orion Falls 

Image Credit: Zhuoqun Wu, Chilescope Telescope 2

The 10 Brightest Stars in the Night Sky (sourc…

The 10 Brightest Stars in the Night Sky (source)

  1. Sirius
  2. Canopus
  3. Rigil Kentaurus 
  4. Arcturus
  5. Vega
  6. Capella 
  7. Rigel
  8. Procyon
  9. Achernar
  10. Betelgeuse

These dense, dark pillars of dust and gas ar…

These dense, dark pillars of dust and gas are resisting erosion from intense ultraviolet light released by the Orion Nebula’s biggest stars.
And new stars are forming. 

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

A small portion of the rough-and-tumble neig…

A small portion of the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of swirling dust and gas near one of the most massive and eruptive stars in our galaxy is seen in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image. This close-up view shows only a three light-year-wide portion of the entire Carina Nebula, which has a diameter of over 200 light-years. Located 8,000 light-years from Earth, the nebula can be seen in the southern sky with the naked eye. Credit: NASA/ESA, Hubble

Nearby dust clouds in the Milky Way Credi…

Nearby dust clouds in the Milky Way

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

The VISIR instrument on ESO’s VLT captured thi…

The VISIR instrument on ESO’s VLT captured this stunning image of a newly-discovered massive binary star system. Nicknamed Apep after an ancient Egyptian deity, it could be the first gamma-ray burst progenitor to be found in our galaxy.

Apep’s stellar winds have created the dust cloud surrounding the system, which consists of a binary star with a fainter companion. With 2 Wolf-Rayet stars orbiting each other in the binary, the serpentine swirls surrounding Apep are formed by the collision of two sets of powerful stellar winds, which create the spectacular dust plumes seen in the image.

The reddish pinwheel in this image is data from the VISIR instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), and shows the spectacular plumes of dust surrounding Apep. The blue sources at the centre of the image are a triple star system — which consists of a binary star system and a companion single star bound together by gravity. Though only two star-like objects are visible in the image, the lower source is in fact an unresolved binary Wolf-Rayet star. The triple star system was captured by the NACOadaptive optics instrument on the VLT.

Credit: ESO/Callingham et al.

Venus at Dawn – Nov 19, 2018 image credit: …

Venus at Dawn – Nov 19, 2018

image credit:

Joseph Brimacombe

What’s happening around that star? An …

What’s happening around that star? An unusual spiral structure has been discovered around the Milky Way star R Sculptoris, a red giant star located about 1,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Sculptor (Sculptoris). The star was observed with the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the most powerful telescopic array observing near millimeter wavelengths, that part of the spectrum situated well beyond red light but before microwaves and radio waves. Data from ALMA observations was used to create a 3D visualization of the gas and dust immediately surrounding the star. A digital slice through this data showed the unexpected spiral structure. Although unusual, a similar spiral pattern was discovered in visible light recently around LL Pegasi. Upon analyzing the data, a hypothesis was drawn that the red giant star in R Sculptoris might be puffing gas toward an unseen binary companion star. The dynamics of this system might be particularly insightful because it may be giving clues as to how giant stars evolve toward the end of their lives – and so release some constituent elements back to the interstellar medium so that new stars may form.

Visualization Credit: ALMA Observatory (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

Aldebaran few moments after the end of the o…

Aldebaran few moments after the end of the occultation by a crescent Moon (7.7% illuminated)

by Fausto Lubatti

ESO’s exquisitely sensitive GRAVITY instrument…

ESO’s exquisitely sensitive GRAVITY instrument has added further evidence to the long-standing assumption that a supermassive black hole lurks in the centre of the Milky Way. New observations show clumps of gas swirling around at about 30% of the speed of light on a circular orbit just outside a four million solar mass black hole — the first time material has been observed orbiting close to the point of no return, and the most detailed observations yet of material orbiting this close to a black hole.

This visualization uses data from simulations of orbital motions of gas swirling around at about 30% of the speed of light on a circular orbit around the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*. 

This simulation shows the orbits of a tight group of stars close to the supermassive blackhole at the heart of the Milky Way. During 2018 one of these stars, S2, passed very close to the black hole and was the subject of intense scrutiny with ESO telescope. Its behaviour matched the predictions of Einsteins’s general relativity and was inconsistent with simpler Newtonian gravity.

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