When it comes to the size of stars, there are dwarfs, giants, and super giants.
And then there’s the hyper giants.
These are very The massive, fast-living stars die young and go out with an enormous bang: Supernovae, and we now know that before they go, they still suffer from coughing: an eruption. The grand scale of the dust that screams out at high speed causes the stars to change rapidly and become very bright.
If this sounds familiar, Betelgeuse should be kept in mind and we’ll be in touch.
But in this case, we’re talking about VY Canis Majoris (also known as VY CMa for short) .This ridiculously bloated red hypergiant is about 4,000 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major, Big. Dog (one of Orion̵7;s hunting dogs), in this case the constellation is suitable: the VY CMa is a great star. 2 billion Width of kilometers.
For comparison, the Sun is 1.4 million km away, the VY CMa is a thousand times larger. thousandReplace the Sun with a VY CMa and it will stretch almost to the orbit of Saturn.
That would be too bad for Earth, we would be in there. And since this star generates hundreds of thousands of times the energy of the Sun, our Earth will not be there for long.
Yes, the star crushed in every sense. Stars like this don’t last a few million years, and as they get older, they generate so much light that it blows off its own surface.What is there is going off with the intensity of the rays from below. VY CMa may. It started with a mass of 40 times that of the Sun. But had already lost about half And this is the beginning of our story.
Observations of the star show that it is bubbling too much infrared light for this type of star, a sign of being surrounded by dust. This is usually a small grains of rocky material. (Load-bearing silicate) or carbonicous material (sooty) around the star (so we call it situationWhich is just an interesting saying), it is heated by starlight, so it emits infrared light, creating a noticeable excess.
The very high-resolution observations of the VY CMa showed this dust, and it also showed that it was quite complex. There are nodes, curves, and clouds scattered around the star. However, the new observations, using Hubble, allow astronomers to measure the speed at which all of this dust is moving, most of which is ejected at tens of thousands of kilometers per hour. soonVY CMa does big things.
The beauty of this is that they then measure the distance from the stars to these clusters and combine them with the speed of tracking the clusters backwards to see when they ejected. What they found was really interesting … the ages of clusters and other characteristics indicate that they were blown off by stars about 70, 120, 200 and 250 years ago.
Considering the historical observations of the star, these periods coincide with periods of high luminance variability in the star, dimming and brightness from large factors.
In other words, some physical mechanisms in a star cause it to spew out these massive clouds of dust, and then these clouds pass between us and the star, darkening them. The last major eruption was in the late 1800s, when the star had greatly faded. It used to be seen with the naked eye. (Barely visible), but after that eruption, it faded and has not brightened since then.
And that’s really interesting, because Betelgeuse, everyone’s favorite yet-unbroken star, just undergone a massive dimming event in late 2019, for months the star shone as red as usual. Half and the astronomers debate what caused it. Its two main competitors are the cooling effects that diminish luminosity, and the other – you guessed it – dust eruptions blocking the stars. I prefer the latter description. There is a lot of dust around Betelgeuse and we know it sometimes blows this material out in huge clouds. But the temperature drop still cannot be ruled out.
Still, Betelgeuse is a red giant. Less mass, smaller, and not as bright as VY CMa (which is one of the brightest stars in the entire galaxy), but very similar, if the VY CMa blows away dust and dims the light, it makes sense that Big B.
There are other differences, some of which are important.Betelgeuse is a normal variable star that changes its brightness as a cyclical order of the year because physics occurs deeper in the lower atmosphere. The VY CMa is a non-variable. And the change in brightness takes years to complete, more likely because things take place in the upper atmosphere. So you have to be careful of predictions from one star to the other. But even so, it was a sensational idea.
The stars like these make me fascinated and terrified. It is difficult to understand how great they are, how powerful they are and how they live. But they are critically important to the evolution of galaxies. They create heavy elements such as iron in their cores, which are scattered throughout space when they explode. Then this material will lead to the formation of new stars, new planets … and weLiterally me and you
The iron in your blood, pumped through your body, was once in the core of explosive stars like the VY CMa, which was pumped into the galaxy for the first time. If that is not reason enough to study the stars like that, then nothing.