Astronomers have obtained the most detailed picture of a distant star
This is the most detailed photograph of the surface of a star other than the Sun, and also the first image taken by ALMA telescope.
An international team of astronomers led by researcher from the Dublin Institute of advanced studies (DIAS) Iman O Gorman (Eamon O’gorman) received the Betelgeuse in high resolution. This is the most detailed photograph of the surface of a star other than the Sun, and also the first image taken by ALMA telescope (Atacama Large Millimeter Array). The work of scientists is available on the server preprints ArXiv.org.
Red giant Betelgeuse is in the constellation of Orion is removed from earth at a distance of 643 ± 146 light years.
The volume of the star exceeds the size of our sun about a billion times.
By conservative estimates, if Betelgeuse placed in the center of the Solar system, it will fill the orbit of Mars, and the maximum is Jupiter. Being ninth on the brightness of a star in the night sky, it is considered an ideal target for astronomical observations.
In 2009, the researchers noticed that over the past 15 years, the visible magnitude of the star has decreased by about 15 percent. The change may have several explanations: first, it can be a periodic fluctuation of the diameter of a celestial body; second, an artifact of observations, which is associated with the irregular shape of Betelgeuse; third, the star could move to the last stage of its evolution. In order to better understand the processes that happen on a celestial body, scientists have been observing it with telescopes.
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New to the submillimeter range has been obtained with the radio interferometer ALMA November 9, 2015. It can be seen that the inner atmosphere of Betelgeuse heated unevenly. The temperature of the large “spots” of about 1000 degrees Kelvin above the temperature of surrounding surface (at a distance of 1.3 radii of stars she is 2760 Kelvin). Astronomers believe that this may be due to the variability of the magnetic field — a similar phenomenon is observed in the Sun.
Now Betelgeuse is in the last stage of the evolution of large stars. Most likely the end of her life will be the supernova of the second type: this can occur with the same probability as tomorrow and in a thousand years. When this happens, Betelgeuse can be seen in the afternoon on the sky as a shining point.