Betelgeuse is getting ready to clash

Next to the red supergiant found strange linear formation, which stars crash in a few millennia. Several arcs found around Betelgeuse — the closest to Earth red supergiant — a new image from the space observatory "Herschel." Star and her arched panels can run into the mysterious dust "wall" over five thousand years.

Betelgeuse is "sitting" on the "shoulder" of the constellation Orion. This orange-red star can be seen with the naked eye in the winter night sky in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left above the three stars in Orion's belt, which may be confused with anything.

Image of ESA.



Betelgeuse is about a thousand times larger than the sun is shining and a hundred thousand times brighter. For this exciting statistics have to pay a high price. Most likely, the star is on the way to becoming a supernova, swollen and dropping much of the outer layers.

New data "Herschel" in the far-infrared part of the spectrum, give an idea of how stellar winds collide with the surrounding interstellar medium, creating a bow shock. Note that Betelgeuse is rushing through space at a speed of about 30 km / s.

Number of arcs in the direction of the dust of the star indicates the turbulent history of the material emissions.

Closer to the star inside of the shell of this material shows a pronounced asymmetric structure. Large convective cells in the outer atmosphere is likely to have in the past to local "lumpy" dust emissions at different stages in the history of Betelgeuse.

Farther out, the arcs of dust, consider the curious linear formation. Early hypotheses to explain the band release the material in the previous stage of stellar evolution, but a new image analysis suggests that it is either something to do with the magnetic field of the galaxy, or the edge of the nearby interstellar clouds, lit Betelgeuse.

If this band is a separate entity, then, taking into account the movement of Betelgeuse and its arcs, and the distance between them and the band, we can predict that it will face the arc only five thousand years, and a red supergiant star in this mysterious crash education about 12.5 thousand years later.

Prepared according to the European Space Agency.

Category: Space

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