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Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Science |

Explain existence of supermassive stars using video game graphics accelerators

Explain existence of supermassive stars using video game graphics accelerators

(CC) ESO

In 2010 a team of astronomers discovered with the help of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, four giant Stars in the in the Large Magellanic Cloud with a far exceeded what was estimated as the maximum size a star could be achieved according to most theories of star formation.

What was understood until 2010 was that the most massive stars could reach about 150 times the mass of the Sun-like star HD 269810 – however these four giant stars to have reached 300 times the mass of our sun, without able to meet any other star with similar characteristics. Moreover, most of these stars called R136a1, being within the R136 cluster, is also the most luminous, about 10 million times the Sun

It should be noted that we talk about mass, not size. For example one of the biggest stars of the universe we know, the VY Canis Majoris whose radius is the radius of the Sun 1420 ‘only’ have 30 to 40 times the mass of the Sun

Before the mystery of its origin, a team of scientists from the has proposed an explanation for the existence of these stars ultra massive: they were created by merging small lighter star binary systems, ie, stars that rotate with each other in around a center of mass.

In reaching its conclusion the team, led by Sambaran Banerjee, simulated by computer the star by star cluster R136. About 170,000 stars with a mass ‘normal’ were distributed in a simulation that required about 510,000 repeatedly solve equations to be watching your progress over time. The innovation is that to solve these intense calculations star by star, known as “direct simulations of N-body” , used powerful accelerator cards for video games.

“Once we perform these calculations was clear that these ultra massive stars are not a mystery,” said Banerjee. “They start to appear early in the life of the clusters. With so many massive stars in binary pairs very small and close together collisions begin to occur where the two stars merge into heavier objects. The resulting stars may easily end up as massive in size as you see in R136. “

“While there are many complex physical equations involved when two very massive stars collide, the most convincing theory is to explain these monstrous stars as seen in the Tarantula Nebula,” he says Banerjee. For the team of scientists from the University of Bonn this explanation reassures, because it means not to jettison the current theories of star formation. Yet.

Explain existence of supermassive stars using video game graphics accelerators image 2

(CC) ESO

Link: Astronomers crack mystery of the ‘monster stars’ (Phys.org)

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