Astronomers observe the agony of the red giant
The international complexół astronomerów spotted a striking spiral patternór surrounding a sub system 3,400 light years away from usójny LL Pegasi entering the planetary nebula phase. The observations were made with the world’s largest radio interferometer – ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array), który is located in the Chilean Andes at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters ofów above sea level.
Spiral wzór is the effect of a star shedding its atmosphere. – What we are seeing are the final moments of the red giant, whichóry ejects most of its gas in the form of a strong stellar wind – explained professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Mark Morris, coóroutor of research.
Spiral wzór extends for about a third of a light year and winds up with unprecedented regularity. Another layer in the pattern appears every 800 years or so, which is reflected in the orbital period of stars. The system is also known as AFGL 3068.
Movement along the orbit is responsible for the characteristic spiral shape. – The orbital motion of a mass-losing red giant, this causes the molecular cloud that forms the wind from this star to be ejected like water from a rotating garden spray, creating a characteristic spiral patternór – explained Professor Morris.
Observations made with the ALMA telescope many móbind about the dynamics of the arrangementóin the subójnych over 5,000 years. – This uniquely structured system opens the door to understanding how the orbits of these systemsów evolve when one star loses most of its mass – emphasized the scientist.
Researchers do not know why the characteristic spiral patternór shines. Leading hypothesis mówi that it shines with reflected light from nearby stars.
The international team was led by Hyosun Kim of the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taiwan. The results of the study were published in the journal „Nature Astronomy”.