The Hubble Space Telescope may be a bit old, but the spacecraft is still hard at work, and it manages to deliver fascinating data and impressive vistas from time to time. A team of astronomers has recorded beautiful images of a distant solar system which is situated at approximately 7,500 light-years away in the constellation known under the name of Carina. The binary star system features two stars classified under the scientific names of HD 99308 and Hen 3-481.
The pair was first spotted by the renowned English astronomer Edmond Halley in 1677 when it was deemed to be a star of the fourth magnitude. In 1838 the binary system was affected by a large-scale event called the Great Eruption.
Eta Carinae became the second brightest star in the sky by April 1884. It is no longer as bright as it used to be, but new ultraviolet pictures reveal a spectacular image and further details.
Hubble Space Telescope Observed A Distant Binary Solar System
The size of the binary solar system is quite impressive, allowing astronomers to observe even minor details. The smaller star is up to 30 more massive than our sun, and it estimated that it is a million times more luminous. The larger one has the mass of 90 suns, and a emits and energy output up to 5 million times stronger than the sun.
Mass ejections tool place from time to time but the blast released during the Great Eruption was exceedingly strong. The pulse of light was weaker in comparison to the light emitted by Sirius, but the star is almost one thousand times closer to earth in contrast with Eta Carinae.
The researchers also made an extraordinary discovery. They expected to observe magnesium filaments, but they fund a new type of magnesium structures in crammed between bipolar bubbles and the outer threads which are heated by shocks. The latest data will allow astronomers to learn more about the mechanics, which contributed to the eruption.