IT is a massive explosion: two symmetrical, blowing gas bubbles that extend to form what we call the ant's mist. Now the pulse of the laser has moved through his broken heart.
The ant mist is already strange. His form is not commonplace.
That is why the Herschel Space Telescope of the European Space Agency ESA already took a look in 2013. Although the Infrared Space Telescope has long been out of service, astronomers are still piling mountains of data and images
They've finally managed to see the heart of the Ant Nebula – about 8,000 light-years away ,
This particular cloud is called Menzel 3 "It's made up of dense gas, so it's especially hard to see what's going on with the dying star among them.
Then astronomers discovered the lasers.
" Thanks to Sensitivity and the broad wavelength range of the Herschel Observatory, we have discovered a very rare type of emission, called the laser emission of the hydrogen recombination line, which provides an opportunity to reveal the structure and physical conditions of the nebula, "said the University's astrophysicist Isabel Aleman.
These Lasers (1
"When we observe Menzel 3, we see a surprisingly complex structure of ionized gas, but we can not see the object in its center producing that pattern "Aleman said.
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Astronomers gla That the dying star is a yellow dwarf similar to ours. When it reaches the end of its life, it will eject outer gas layers as the core shrinks. What remains – a white dove – gets even hotter, ionizing the surrounding gas clouds and forming a mist.
But the shape of the ant nebula is strange. It was only seen in a handful of other cases.
It seems to have something to do with the density of the central Menzel 3 gas cloud – calculated about 10,000 times thicker than usual.
Something prevents the gas
"The only one The ability to keep gas close to the star is when it orbits in a disk around it, "says Albert Zijlstra of the University of Manchester Astrophysics and study co-author Albert Zijlstra
" In this case, we actually have a dense disk observed right in the middle, which is roughly on the edge.
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The idea is the outflow of gas The star is caught by a nearby neighbor – a second star orbits the first one – the gas then drops to its surface – and reacts – as an accretion disk.
This affects shape and composition the gas clouds that can escape.
"Herschel provided the perfect viewing opportunities to discover this extraordinary laser in the ant fog. The results will help limit the conditions under which this phenomenon occurs and help refine our models of stellar evolution.