When stars collide: Fixing the 16-year thriller of the Blue Ring Nebula

Enlarge / The Blue Ring Nebula was found by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, or GALEX, in 2004, but it surely took 16 years of observations with different telescopes, each on the bottom and in area, to lastly pin down its trigger (credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Seibert (Carnegie Establishment for Science)/Ok. Hoadley (Caltech)/GALEX)
It took 16 lengthy years, however astronomers have lastly solved the puzzle of the mysterious Blue Ring Nebula, in response to a brand new paper revealed in Nature. First noticed in 2004, the star with an uncommon ultraviolet ring seems to be the results of two stars merging, spewing out particles in reverse instructions and forming two glowing cones. It seems to us as a blue ring as a result of a type of cones factors instantly at Earth. That makes this the primary remark of a uncommon stage of stellar evolution, just some thousand years into the method, akin to capturing a child’s first steps.
The story begins with the so-called GALEX (Galaxy Evolution Explorer) mission, an all-sky survey within the ultraviolet band of the electromagnetic spectrum that was in operation from 2003 to 2013. Caltech physicist Chris Martin was the PI for GALEX when his crew noticed an uncommon object: a big, faint blob of glowing fuel with a star at its middle. GALEX makes measurements in each the far UV and close to UV bands, however whereas most objects GALEX noticed confirmed up in each bands, the beautiful blue ring across the star dubbed TYC 2597-735-1 solely confirmed up within the far UV.
Intrigued, Martin determined to analyze additional, assured that he and his crew might give you a viable rationalization by the top of the 12 months. He thought the Blue Ring Nebula was probably a supernova remnant or maybe a planetary nebula fashioned from the stays of a star roughly the dimensions of our Solar, though these sometimes emit gentle in a number of wavelengths exterior the UV vary. Nevertheless it turned out to be a far knottier downside.Learn 15 remaining paragraphs | Feedback

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