Red supergiant 15 times more massive than the Sun.
The red supergiant Antares is almost two times cooler than the Sun. However, he is more of our star is about 900 times and 15 times more massive. The brightness of the Antares makes it an object of close attention of astronomers is one of the most convenient for the study of the stars, except, of course, the Sun. Besides the brilliant constellation of Scorpio is on the dramatic stage of one’s life. Fuel reserves in the subsoil coming to an end, and quite soon in astronomical terms it will finish the existence in the all-consuming supernova.
On 16 August a team of astronomers led by Keiti Onakai from the Institute of astronomy at the University Católica del Norte in Chile published in the journal Nature a study which presented a new map of the atmosphere of the supergiant.
The researchers used the VLT Observatory. It is a system of four eight-meter telescopes, which are able to unite in a single whole, working as one instrument and thus, the largest optical telescope in the world.
This Grand astronomical instrument to be mounted in the Atacama desert in Chile, has already pleased us with their discoveries. For example, it was able to map the weather on a brown dwarf, photograph unique nebula in the constellation of Hydra to find earth-like planet, similar to Tatooine.
This time, researchers have harnessed the power of the “very large telescope” to understand what is happening in the atmosphere of Antares. On the hand, the scientists played the fact that it is possible nablyudatelya lines of carbon monoxide. This heavy-duty molecule is found even in the solar atmosphere, especially in the cooler atmosphere of the red star.
The behavior of the CO spectrum has allowed astronomers to estimate the density and speed of the plasma flows. And here the scientists were in for a surprise: the density was much higher than expected. This means that from the depths of the star to the surface is pushed much more substance than is possible under existing views.
Process, raising the mass of the gas from the hot depths on a relatively cold surface is called convection. To feel and understand her work enough to hold the palm over the Central heating. The hot gas is lighter than cold, so on any heater battery, pan or inner layers of the star creates a powerful updraft.
There are exact model, calculating the intensity of convection based on energy star. And these models say that this process is not able to raise in the atmosphere of Antares much gas. This should mean that in the bowels of the star has a powerful and previously unknown to astronomers power. Call it nature, the authors find it difficult.
They say that you need to gather more information, what should help new observations and, possibly, the animation, recreating the flow of the plasma. So in the future we probably will see a cartoon about the mysterious star.
We will add that this is not the only mystery associated with the eruption into space of matter. Even dear with the Sun, much more available to study than Antares, not in a hurry to lay all my cards on the table.
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