Spectacular shock wave by way of a rejected star hurtling by way of house at 100,000 miles per hour

Zeta Ophiuchi was as soon as in an in depth orbit with one other star earlier than it was ejected when that companion was destroyed in a supernova explosion. Spitzer’s infrared knowledge reveal the spectacular shock wave created because the star was blown away from the floor and burst into gasoline on its approach. The Chandra knowledge present a bubble of X-rays across the star created by gasoline that has been heated to tens of thousands and thousands of levels by the shock wave. Chandra knowledge will assist inform extra of the story of this runaway star. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. Cambridge/J. Sisk-Reynés et al.; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA; Optical: PanSTARRS

  • Zeta Ophiuchi is a single star that most likely as soon as had a companion that was destroyed in a supernova.
  • The supernova explosion despatched Zeta Ophiuch, seen in Spitzer (inexperienced and purple) and Chandra knowledge (blue), hurtling by way of house.
  • The X-rays detected by Chandra come from gasoline that has been heated to thousands and thousands of levels by the impression of the shock wave.
  • Scientists are working to suit computational fashions of this object to elucidate the information obtained at completely different wavelengths.

Zeta Ophiuchi is a star with a sophisticated previous, because it was most likely ejected from its birthplace in a strong stellar explosion. An in depth new look[{” attribute=””>NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory helps tell more of the history of this runaway star.

Located approximately 440 light-years from Earth, Zeta Ophiuchi is a hot star that is about 20 times more massive than the Sun. Evidence that Zeta Ophiuchi was once in close orbit with another star, before being ejected at about 100,000 miles per hour when this companion was destroyed in a supernova explosion over a million years ago has been provided by previous observations.

In fact, previously released infrared data from NASA’s now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope, seen in this new composite image, reveals a spectacular shock wave (red and green) that was formed by matter blowing away from the star’s surface and slamming into gas in its path. A bubble of X-ray emission (blue) located around the star, produced by gas that has been heated by the effects of the shock wave to tens of millions of degrees, is revealed by data from Chandra.

A team of astronomers has constructed the first detailed computer models of the shock wave. They have begun testing whether the models can explain the data obtained at different wavelengths, including X-ray, infrared, optical, and radio observations. All three of the different computer models predict fainter X-ray emissions than observed. In addition, the bubble of X-ray emission is brightest near the star, whereas two of the three computer models predict the X-ray emission should be brighter near the shock wave. The team of astronomers was led by Samuel Green from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland.

Sooner or later, these researchers plan to check extra advanced fashions with further physics, together with the results of turbulence and particle acceleration, to see if the settlement with the X-ray knowledge improves.

A paper describing these outcomes has been accepted by the journal Astronomy and astrophysics. The Chandra knowledge used right here had been initially analyzed by Jesús Toala of the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics in Spain, who additionally wrote the proposal that led to the observations.

Reference: “Thermal emission of bow shocks. II. 3D magnetohydrodynamic fashions of Zeta Ophiuch”, by S. Inexperienced, J. Mackey, P. Kavanagh, TJ Haworth, M. Moutzouri, and VV Gvaramadze, accepted, Astronomy and astrophysics.
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202243531

NASA’s Marshall House Flight Heart manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Heart operates science operations from Cambridge, Massachusetts and flights from Burlington, Massachusetts.

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