The death of a binary star is anything but a peaceful event. Such binary stars can rumble and erupt, and they are blasting off their outer materials and spitting radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum out into deep space.
But this doesn’t happen fast as the process can take a really long time. And it’s also important to note that the bigger the star, the more spectacular the fireworks will be.
According to the online publication Science Alert, Eta Carinae is a binary star 7,500 light-years away which is indeed pretty massive.
The two stars clock in at 90 and 30 times the mass of the Sun and according to the same online publication, it’s no wonder that the pair’s death throes are mind-blowing – and they’ve been ongoing for about 200 years.
The image shows what happened 7,500 years ago
The online publication makes sure to list a disclaimer that says the following: “what we’re seeing actually happened 7,500 years ago, but the radiation (light, X-rays, radio waves) is only reaching us now, so we refer to the events in the present tense.”
It seems that Eta Carinae erupted back in 1838 in what is known as the Great Eruption. Also, it’s important to note that by April 1844 is was the second brightest object in the sky at night.
Now, the new images of the dying binary star that have been captured via the Hubble Space Telescope show that it is still active within the glowing cloud.
In order to capture the mind-blowing pics, astronomers have used the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument; their research goal was to map magnesium glowing in ultraviolet light.
According to the online publication mentioned above, “The Homunculus Nebula has two lobes, or bubbles, of material blown outward; that’s gas and dust to the extent of up to 40 times the mass of the Sun, ejected by the larger star. The research team was expecting to find magnesium all mixed up in the filaments of shock-heated nitrogen gas around the outside of the nebula, pictured in red.”
The image is indeed amazing as you can see above. You can read more exciting details in Science Alert’s original article.
I have been blogging and posting articles for over eight years, but my passion for writing dates back in 2000. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues. When I’m not researching and writing the latest news, I’m either watching sci-fi and horror movies or checking out places worth visiting and building deep memories for later in life. I believe in empathy and continually improving myself.