Dust-spewing star: VY Canis Majoris Dust

Published: November 28, 2015

Dust-spewing star: VY Canis Majoris Dust, The secret of a star’s staggering weight loss has finally been explained. Astronomers in Chile have discovered that star VYCanis Majoris is shedding huge chunks of its mass as it gets ready to explode.

This dust is made up of exceptionally large grains, a feature that means the star can get rid of significant amounts quickly before its demise.

Red hyper-giant VY Canis Majoris is 3,840 light-years away from Earth.

It is around 30 to 40 times the mass of our sun and in general it is one of the largest and brightest stars ever found.

Like all massive stars, it is short-lived and is quickly burning its nuclear star-fuel.

Presently, Canis is going through the last phases of its life, exaggeratedly bloating as it gets ready to go out with a bang as a supernova.

Throughout this swelling, the star is losing a significant amount of mass – about 30 times the mass of Earth every year, mainly expelled in the form of dust and clouds of gas.

Like all massive stars, VY Canis Majoris is short-lived and is quickly burning its nuclear star-fuel.

Presently, Canis is going through the last phases of its life – it is exaggeratedly bloating as it gets ready to go out with a bang as a supernova.

Throughout this swelling, the star is losing a significant amount of mass – around bout 30 times the mass of Earth every year, mainly expelled in the form of dust and clouds of gas.

This process is typical, and well-known, but how exactly this material is pushed so fast and so far into space ahead of the star’s explosion was previously unknown.

Scientists have now found that the dust expelled by Canis is made up of grains that are around 50 times larger than those normally composing cosmic dust.

This process is typical, and well-known, but how exactly this material is pushed so fast and so far into space ahead of the star’s explosion was previously unknown.

For its research paper, the team of astronomers working the European Southern Observatory (ESO) attempted to understand this by pointing the Paranal observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Canis.

VLT is equipped with advanced adaptive optics tools that can dim down the light of a star and make possible to better observe fainter objects surrounding it.

In this way they managed to grasp how Canis’s light scatters through the dust and material the star ejects.

Using that information, the astronomers estimated the average size of the grains composing the dust around Canis.

This revealed the grains are around 0.5 micrometres across.

Although this could seem fairly small – one micrometre is a millionth of a metre – the particles are, in fact, enormous for their kind.

It is estimated they are around 50 times larger than grains normally composing cosmic dust and over time, that dust could become the seed of future stars and planets.

Share

_________________________________________
Please feel free to send if you have any questions regarding this post , you can contact on

Contact

Comments

Comments are closed.

Copyright ©2010-15 AP - United States America