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Breathtaking Wind Collisions on the Star Eta Carinae

galxyOur technologies go forward, showing us objects that are beyond our comprehension. Recently, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) provided a high quality photographs of Eta Carinae – one of the heaviest stars of our galaxy. By combining three infrared images from three different ESO telescopes, scientists received a sharp image that shows powerful wind collisions within it.

universeBy using this technology, the scientists who work on the project can learn how such heavy stars live and die, and what they become after dying as a star. For example, Eta Carinae was an incredibly heavy star, we would need 5,000,000 Suns to fill its power and brightness. However, it came supernova in 1843, losing its brightness and throwing a huge amount of its material away. The stellar material later shaped into Homunculus Nebula, which has a symmetrical form, being formed by violent winds.

At the center of the nebula there’s another star that is also evaporating. It used to orbit Eta Carinae, but now these two objects have tremendous wind collisions at 10,000,000 km/0h. Such winds are a characteristic feature of supernovas, giving the scientists a great opportunity to research every aspect of the life and activity of such stars.

blueThe researchers team can observe everything in high quality detail, zooming the image where needed. They follow the race of winds of both stars and think on what star will eventually win. The stars are both huge, but they say Eta Carinae is a winner as for now. Surprisingly, the second star may eventually win the race due to its fast movements, but the scientists can’t say anything for sure yet.

Such an event so far away was impossible to capture and research earlier, but now, with new technologies and powerful telescopes, astronomers are able even to see how the gas flows inside the stars and how the winds of two giants collide.

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