Spectacular shock wave from a rejected star hurtling through space at 100,000 miles per hour

Zeta Ofuchi

Zeta Ophiuchi was as soon as in shut orbit with one other star, earlier than being ejected when this companion was destroyed in a supernova explosion. Infrared information from Spitzer reveal a spectacular shock wave that fashioned when matter flew away from the star’s floor and smashed into gasoline in its path. The Chandra information present a bubble of X-ray emission positioned across the star, produced by gasoline that has been heated by the shock wave to tens of thousands and thousands of levels. The Chandra information assist inform extra concerning the story of this runaway star. Credit score: X-Ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Cambridge/J. Sisk-Reynés et al.; Radius: NSF/NRAO/VLA; Optics: PanSTARRS

  • Zeta Ophiuchi is a single star that in all probability as soon as had a companion that was destroyed when it went supernova.
  • The supernova explosion despatched Zeta Ophiuchi, seen in information from Spitzer (inexperienced and purple) and Chandra (blue), hurtling by means of area.
  • The X-rays detected by Chandra originate from gasoline that has been heated to thousands and thousands of levels by the consequences of a shock wave.
  • Scientists are working to match computational fashions of this object to elucidate the information obtained at completely different wavelengths.

Zeta Ophiuchi is a star with an advanced previous, as she was in all probability blown out of her birthplace by a robust stellar explosion. A brand new detailed picture of[{” attribute=””>NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory helps tell more of the history of this runaway star.

Located approximately 440 light-years from Earth, Zeta Ophiuchi is a hot star that is about 20 times more massive than the Sun. Evidence that Zeta Ophiuchi was once in close orbit with another star, before being ejected at about 100,000 miles per hour when this companion was destroyed in a supernova explosion over a million years ago has been provided by previous observations.

In fact, previously released infrared data from NASA’s now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope, seen in this new composite image, reveals a spectacular shock wave (red and green) that was formed by matter blowing away from the star’s surface and slamming into gas in its path. A bubble of X-ray emission (blue) located around the star, produced by gas that has been heated by the effects of the shock wave to tens of millions of degrees, is revealed by data from Chandra.

A team of astronomers has constructed the first detailed computer models of the shock wave. They have begun testing whether the models can explain the data obtained at different wavelengths, including X-ray, infrared, optical, and radio observations. All three of the different computer models predict fainter X-ray emissions than observed. In addition, the bubble of X-ray emission is brightest near the star, whereas two of the three computer models predict the X-ray emission should be brighter near the shock wave. The team of astronomers was led by Samuel Green from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland.

Sooner or later, these scientists plan to check extra sophisticated fashions with extra physics, together with the consequences of turbulence and particle acceleration, to see if it would enhance the settlement with the X-ray information.

An article describing these outcomes has been accepted within the journal astronomy and astrophysics. The Chandra information used right here have been initially analyzed by Jesús Toala of the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics in Spain, who additionally wrote the proposal that led to the observations.

Reference: “Thermal emission from bow dampers. II. 3D Magnetohydrodynamic Fashions of Zeta Ophiuchi” by S. Inexperienced, J. Mackey, P. Kavanagh, TJ Haworth, M. Moutzouri, and VV Gvaramadze, Accepted, astronomy and astrophysics.
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202243531

NASA’s Marshall Area Flight Heart manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Heart controls science operations from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.

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