Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There is a strange spiral red star out about 100 light years from here. Scientist believe it may be a dying red giant due to the gases and the dust released not to mention the velocity of the winds formed in this event. It is believed that we can learn from this happening and possibly apply that evolution to the process our own sun will one day experience.

How it happens, how a star like the Sun or bigger becomes a red giant is as it ages, the core heats up. The winds which are caused by R Sculptoris , a corkscrew of expulsions of thermal elements leading to the formation and creation of new planets and stars and all a part of the long slow death of a red giant. In some such as the supernovae, death is more dramatic and ends up blasting radiation across the universe. But how we expect it will go for the sun is that first the core will heat up from 15 million Kelvin to10^8 kelvin. While this happens the star will expand and the Sun will now have engulfed much of the solar systems inner planets and perhaps more meaning that its diameter has expanded to 50 times its current size. A shell starts to form at the outside of the star’s core and fuse into carbon. A shortly thereafter (literally a couple of years) this fire cracker blows up like a stick of dynamite starting in the interior and blows upward and blowing material clear off its surface. The next step is the massive grouping of material that forms a sphere around the star, sort of a shell of expanding materials. (Perhaps this is the elusive Dyson Sphere?!)

So how did we get this spiral red star? It has a companion star . Nowhere near as big as the other star but still the two stars constantly orbit each other. While they make this spiral dance the red giant dumps material which as it expands outward forms a spiral pattern. A lot of activity goes on to give us this beautiful picture!

***Although let me leave you with a question, if scientists now believe our Sun has a companion (which many do) then would it not stand to reason that it would eventually die the spiral death as well?***

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