Online Town 2020:11:20.10:27
California, 11/20/2020 (El Pueblo Online) –The Blue Ring Nebula, discovered in 2004 by a NASA mission in our galaxy, is no longer as enigmatic as it has seemed since then. The California Institute of Technology (USA) reported this Wednesday that a collaboration of astronomers has been able to explain what the structure of this nebula is and how it was formed, highlights RT.
They point out that it is the product of the merger of two stars, one of which was approximately the same size as the Sun in its original state, while the other was somewhat smaller. The two stars were a very narrow binary system until they collided several thousand Earth years ago. Eventually the solar mass star engulfed its companion, but much of its matter propagated through space in two opposite directions.
The apparent ring is actually a projection of two cones formed by the fluorescent debris of both stars and, if we could see it from other observation points, not from Earth, we could appreciate this conical structure, according to the researchers, who even made a visualization of the supposed lateral projections.
Within this conical figure is a remnant of the old binary system, a star designated in the catalogs as TYC 2597-735-1. Its excess infrared emission and variable radial velocity may be indications of a circumstellar disk of dust, according to the study. Meanwhile, the apparent blue glow is nothing more than an optical effect, because the nebula does not actually emit light that is visible to the human eye, but rather ultraviolet.
Although the ring discovered in 2004 was a different object from anything astronomers had observed in the Milky Way up to that point, astrophysicists in the US are willing to generalize the information obtained. They claim that most of the stars in our galaxy are part of binary systems. If the stars of a binary system are close enough, they can also end up merging with each other and become a nebula. As the smaller companion spirals closer to the larger companion and loses its orbital energy, it can burst and eject its material.
(Web editor: Zhou Yu, Zhao Jian)