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Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Science |

ALMA Telescope detects unexpected dust spiraling around red star

ALMA Telescope detects unexpected dust spiraling around red star

Astronomers have discovered a rare of material around the R Sculptoris, which is in the final stages of life. The discovery was made using the telescope in the Atacama Desert, and is the first time that there is a structure of this type in a red giant star. It is also the first time that 3D information is obtained from such a spiral.

The strange shape appears to have been created by another star, who has not been seen, and that would orbit the red giant. The image also reveals that this star has explusado much more material than previously thought.

“We had already seen wraps around stars of this type, but it is the first time we see a spiral of material coming out of a star with an envelope,” said first author of the paper presenting the results, Matthias Maercker, astronomer European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Argelander Institute for Astronomy. The work will be published in the journal Nature.

The observation was made when soul was still under construction and was not even half of their antennas installed. Still, the observation was much better than had been achieved with other radio telescopes of its kind. ALMA will be completed in 2013.

At the end of his days, the stars swell to eight times the size of the Sun and become red giants, losing many of their mass through stellar wind. During this period, also suffer from “thermal pulses”, short phases in which helium burns explosively, creating a wrapper around the stellar core. Thermal pulses cause material to be ejected from the surface of the star at a higher rate, creating a large envelope of gas and dust around the star. A second star orbiting dust would have caused take a spiral form.

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Link: ALMA located a striking spiral structure (ESO)

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