To celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers aimed at one of the brightest stars in the galaxy, which emits a halo of gas and dust. The price paid by the superstar’s wealth is “living on the fringe.” star, Named AG Carinae, it fights a tug-of-war between gravity and radiation to prevent self-destruction.
An expanded layer of gas and dust surrounding the star It’s about five light-years wide, Equal to the distance from here to Proxima Centauri, the nearest star outside the sun.
Huge buildings were created by one or more large-scale eruptions about 10,000 years ago. The outer layer of the star flies into space, Like a boiling kettle peeled off the lid According to NASA, the ejected material is about 10 times the mass of our sun.
These outbursts are the typical lifespan of a rare race of stars called “luminous blue variables,” which are short convulsions in the short lifespan of an ultra-bright, glamorous star that is happy and dies prematurely.These stars Is one of the most massive and brightest stars known. They only lived for a few million years, by comparison, The sun has 10 billion years of life. AG Carinae has a history of several million years and is 20,000 light years away from our Milky Way.
The bright blue variables exhibit dual personalities: they seem to spend years in idle happiness, and then explode in a smug explosion. These giants are extreme stars, very different from normal stars such as our sun. In fact, it is estimated that AG Carinae It weighs 70 times that of our sun, and shines with the dazzling light of one million suns.
“I like to study these types of stars because I am fascinated by their instability. They are doing strange things,” said Kerstin Weis, an expert on luminous blue variables at Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. Big explosions like the blue nebula occur once or twice in the life cycle of the luminous blue variable. Luminous blue variable stars only eject material when they are in danger of being self-destructed into supernovae. Due to its huge shape and superheated temperature, luminous blue variable stars such as AG Carinae have been constantly stable.
This is the open arms struggle between the radiant pressure inside the star pushing outward and gravity pushing inward. This coincidence of the universe causes stars to expand and contract.This External pressure occasionally wins the battle, The star expanded to such a huge size that it peeled off from the outer layer like a volcanic eruption.But this outbreak Only happens when Stellar is about to collapse. After the star expels the material, it will shrink to its normal size, sink again, and then dormant for a period of time.
Like many other glowing blue variables, AG Carinae Still unstable. It has experienced a slight outburst, and its outburst is not as powerful as the outburst that created the current nebula.
Although AG Carinae is now dormant like a super-hot star, it continues to emit blazing radiation and powerful stellar wind (a stream of charged particles).Outflow Continue to shape ancient nebulae, When the flowing gas hits the slower-moving outer nebula, it sculpts intricate structures.
The wind travels at a speed of one million kilometers per hour, about ten times that of the expanding nebula. Over time, the hot wind reaches the colder ejected material, hitting the material and moving it away from the star. This “snow sweeping” effect clears the cavity around the star. The red substance is incandescent hydrogen mixed with nitrogen. The fuzzy red material in the upper left corner indicates where the wind passes through the weak material area and brings it into space.
The most prominent feature is blue, which is a t-shaped filamentous structure and twisted bubbles. These structures are clusters of dust illuminated by the light reflected by stars. Features-like features are most prominent on the left and in the background, and are denser dust accumulations carved by stellar winds. Hubble’s keen vision reveals these delicate structures in detail.
The image was taken with visible light and ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet rays provide a clearer view of the filamentous dust structure that extends to the star. The Hubble Telescope is very suitable for ultraviolet observations because this wavelength range can only be seen from space.
Massive stars like AG Carinae are important to astronomers because they have a profound impact on the surrounding environment. The largest program in Hubble’s history, the “Young Star Ultraviolet Legacy Library” as an indispensable standard, He is studying the ultraviolet light emitted by young stars and how they shape their surroundings.
Luminous blue variable stars are rare: fewer than 50 are known in nearby galaxies around us. These stars spent tens of thousands of years at this stage, The blink of an eye in the universe. Many people are expected to end their lives with Titanic supernova explosions, which will enrich the universe with other heavy elements besides iron.