Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




STELLAR CHEMISTRY
The Shocking Behavior of a Speedy Star
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 25, 2014


The red arc in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is a giant shock wave, created by a speeding star known as Kappa Cassiopeiae. Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Roguish runaway stars can have a big impact on their surroundings as they plunge through the Milky Way galaxy. Their high-speed encounters shock the galaxy, creating arcs, as seen in this newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

In this case, the speedster star is known as Kappa Cassiopeiae, or HD 2905 to astronomers. It is a massive, hot supergiant moving at around 2.5 million mph relative to its neighbors (1,100 kilometers per second). But what really makes the star stand out in this image is the surrounding, streaky red glow of material in its path. Such structures are called bow shocks, and they can often be seen in front of the fastest, most massive stars in the galaxy.

Bow shocks form where the magnetic fields and wind of particles flowing off a star collide with the diffuse, and usually invisible, gas and dust that fill the space between stars. How these shocks light up tells astronomers about the conditions around the star and in space.

Slow-moving stars like our sun have bow shocks that are nearly invisible at all wavelengths of light, but fast stars like Kappa Cassiopeiae create shocks that can be seen by Spitzer's infrared detectors.

Incredibly, this shock is created about 4 light-years ahead of Kappa Cassiopeiae, showing what a sizable impact this star has on its surroundings. (This is about the same distance that we are from Proxima Centauri, the nearest star beyond the sun.)

The Kappa Cassiopeiae bow shock shows up as a vividly red color. The faint green features in this image result from carbon molecules, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, in dust clouds along the line of sight that are illuminated by starlight.

Delicate red filaments run through this infrared nebula, crossing the bow shock. Some astronomers have suggested these filaments may be tracing out features of the magnetic field that runs throughout our galaxy.

Since magnetic fields are completely invisible themselves, we rely on chance encounters like this to reveal a little of their structure as they interact with the surrounding dust and gas.

Kappa Cassiopeiae is visible to the naked eye in the Cassiopeia constellation (but its bow shock only shows up in infrared light.)

For this Spitzer image, infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 and 4.5 microns is rendered in blue, 8.0 microns in green, and 24 microns in red.

.


Related Links
Spitzer Telescope
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





UAV Payloads 2014, 24 - 25 June - London, UK
STELLAR CHEMISTRY
The Hubble Showdown: Starbursts versus Monsters
Baltimore MD (SPX) Feb 25, 2014
The dominating figure in the middle of this new Hubble image is a galaxy known as MCG-03-04-014. It belongs to a class of galaxies called luminous infrared galaxies - galaxies that are incredibly bright in the infrared part of the spectrum. This galaxy's status as a luminous infrared galaxy makes it part of an interesting astronomical question: starbursts versus monsters, a debate over how ... read more


STELLAR CHEMISTRY
China Focus: Uneasy rest begins for China's troubled Yutu rover

Is Yutu Stuck?

Japan's Pocari Sweat bound for the moon: maker

Lunar ownership laws: a future necessity?

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NASA Mars Orbiter Views Opportunity Rover on Ridge

Curiosity Adds Reverse Driving for Wheel Protection

Curiosity Drives On After Crossing Martian Dune

The World Above and Beyond

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
DARPA Open Catalog Makes Agency-Sponsored Software and Publications Available to All

Orion Underway Recovery Testing Begins off the Coast of California

Inside astronaut Alexander's head

NASA Welcomes University Participants to Develop Science Payloads

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
No Call for Yutu

What's up, Yutu

China's Jade Rabbit rover comes 'back to life'

Yutu Awakes

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Space suit leak happened before, NASA admits

NASA Seeks US Industry Feedback on Options for Future ISS Cargo Services

NASA, International Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members

Andrews Space Cargo Module Power Unit Provides Power For Payloads Bound For ISS

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
'Mission of Firsts' Showcased New Range-Safety Technology at NASA Wallops

First Copernicus satellite at launch site

Arianespace to launch OPTSAT 3000 and VENuS satellites

Lighter engines a headache for satellite launcher Ariane

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NASA cries planetary 'bonanza' with 715 new worlds

Detection of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of a Hot Jupiter

ESA selects planet-hunting PLATO mission

Rife with hype, exoplanet study needs patience and refinement

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
EIAST showcases DubaiSat-2 results, plans for KhalifaSat at space conference in Singapore

A New Way to Create Porous Materials

USAF reveals 'neighborhood watch' satellite program

UT Dallas-led team makes powerful muscles from fishing line and sewing thread




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.