Astronomers were able to measure the granules on the stellar surface π1 Crane.
Scientists using the Very large telescope performed the first direct observations of the structure of the granulation on the surface of stars beyond the Solar system — π1 Crane, red giant, completing its life cycle, according to the European southern Observatory.
530 light years from Earth in the constellation of the Crane is the star π1 Gruis – cold red giant. Its mass is about the same as the Sun, but it is 350 times larger and several thousand times brighter. In about five billion years the Sun will increase in size and turn into the same red giant.
New studies have allowed to determine that the surface of this red giant is only a few convection cells, or granules, each of which has a diameter of about 120 million kilometers — about a quarter of the diameter of the star. One such pellet would occupy all the space from the Sun to Venus.
The first stage of the program of thermonuclear fusion old stars π1 Crane ended a long time ago, when her bowels burned all the hydrogen. As soon as weakened energy released, the star was compressed, and this in turn led to its heating to temperatures above 100 million degrees. Then began the next phase of its evolution: now of helium were synthesized heavier atoms such as carbon and oxygen. Very hot core of a star as he was blowing its outer layers that the star was not in hundreds times more, than were at the beginning. Now it has evolved into a variable red giant. Consider the details of the surface of such a star still could not be anyone else.
Stars with a mass greater than eight solar finish their life cycle by the explosion of a supernova, and less massive, such as π1 Crane, gradually shed their outer shell, which form a beautiful planetary nebula. And, indeed, earlier studies π1 Gru at a distance of 0.9 light years from it was found a shell, apparently, dropped about 20 thousand years ago.
Previously, astronomers have noticed that a small galaxy located in the Sculptor group, is gradually destroyed by the gravitational influence of a giant galaxy, situated right next door to hers. The newly discovered galaxy belongs to a class of dwarf spheroidal galaxies, but, unlike other such galaxies, it has an elongated shape, is directed towards NGC 253. This form of the galaxy may indicate that it affects the gravitational influence of a larger galaxy, which acts more strongly on the near side.
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