December 1, 2022

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The star is racing like crazy.  Astronomers estimated its speed

The star is racing like crazy. Astronomers estimated its speed

Zeta Ophiuchi is about 500 light-years from the Sun and is one of the so-called runaway stars. Scientists decided to look at it in detail.

This object is in our galaxy and is one of the main sequence stars. With about 20 times the mass of the Sun, Zeta Oviucci is unlikely to live long. For the star of course. Astronomers estimate it is about 4 million years old, and at about twice that number it will likely begin its end.

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However, this is not the most interesting thing about this object. It belongs to the group of runaway stars, that is, stars that move much faster than other stars in its vicinity. As can be seen from the research, its results were presented in the following pages Astronomy and astrophysicsZeta Oviucci moves at a speed of about 30-40 kilometers per second, or more than 160 thousand kilometers per hour.

Zeta Ophiuchi is a so-called runaway star

While runaway stars tend to appear in clusters in most cases, here scientists are dealing with a cosmic loner. One of the most likely scenarios is that Zeta Ophiuchi is thrown into space as a result of a supernova explosion caused by its companion star. This may have been released at the time, and it crossed its paths with Zeta Ophiuchi about a million years ago.

The Chandra Space Telescope, which makes X-ray observations, has contributed greatly to documenting this object. The scientists took into account the multi-wavelength data using optical, infrared, radio and X-ray observations. The study authors also ran simulations and found that the results did not match previously collected data. The brightest X-rays in Chandra’s data are emitted from the bubble surrounding the star, while models have suggested they are among the so-called arch shock.

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There are at least two possible explanations for this phenomenon: either the simulation is incomplete or scientists are misinterpreting what is happening to the star and its surroundings. Therefore, the study authors wanted to run more simulations in which more physical processes would be taken into account, while the accuracy used would be higher than before.