APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

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APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:06 am

Image Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind Machine

Explanation: Some stars explode in slow motion. Rare, massive Wolf-Rayet stars are so tumultuous and hot that they are slowly disintegrating right before our telescopes. Glowing gas globs each typically over 30 times more massive than the Earth are being expelled by violent stellar winds. Wolf-Rayet star WR 124, visible near the featured image center spanning six light years across, is thus creating the surrounding nebula known as M1-67. Details of why this star has been slowly blowing itself apart over the past 20,000 years remains a topic of research. WR 124 lies 15,000 light-years away towards the constellation of the Arrow (Sagitta). The fate of any given Wolf-Rayet star likely depends on how massive it is, but many are thought to end their lives with spectacular explosions such as supernovas or gamma-ray bursts.

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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by Ann » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:18 am

The VISIR instrument on ESO’s VLT captured this stunning image of a newly-discovered massive binary star system. Nicknamed Apep after an ancient Egyptian deity, it could be the first gamma-ray burst progenitor to be found in our galaxy. Apep’s stellar winds have created the dust cloud surrounding the system, which consists of a binary star with a fainter companion. With 2 Wolf-Rayet stars orbiting each other in the binary, the serpentine swirls surrounding Apep are formed by the collision of two sets of powerful stellar winds, which create the spectacular dust plumes seen in the image. The reddish pinwheel in this image is data from the VISIR instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), and shows the spectacular plumes of dust surrounding Apep. The blue sources at the centre of the image are a triple star system — which consists of a binary star system and a companion single star bound together by gravity. Though only two star-like objects are visible in the image, the lower source is in fact an unresolved binary Wolf-Rayet star. The triple star system was captured by the NACO adaptive optics instrument on the VLT. Photo: ESO/Callingham et al.

















WR 104 is a worthy subject for an APOD. My own "favorite" Wolf Rayet star is another one, however, the WR component of a triple star system named after a deity in Egyptian mythology, Apep:
Wikipedia wrote:

Apep (/ˈæpɛp/ or /ˈɑːpɛp/; also spelled Apepi or Aapep) or Apophis (/ˈæpəfɪs/; Ancient Greek: Ἄποφις) was the ancient Egyptian deity who embodied chaos (ı͗zft in Egyptian) and was thus the opponent of light and Ma'at (order/truth). He appears in art as a giant serpent.
Apep (the star system) has been named as a possible gamma ray burst progenitor. The fact that we see the "spiral arms" sort of face on suggests that we might be seeing at least one of the Wolf Rayet stars pole on, which again suggests that, if this WR star was to eject a tremendous jet, it might aim it in more or less our direction.

But hey, wait a minute!

I may have been too hasty here, when I suggested that Apep might be the only WR star that is surrounded by a more of less face-on spiral, and which might be capable of firing a gamma ray jet in our direction. It turns out that the star of today's APOD, WR 104, might do the same thing!!! :shock:

Matt Ransford of Popular Science wrote:

Friends of the Dark Side, your time may soon be at hand. It seems we have a literal death star aiming in our general direction. The culprit is part of a binary star system—two stars which orbit each other—by the name of WR 104. Both are massive and very, very hot. One will eventually explode into a harmless supernova, providing us with a lovely astronomical light show. The other, however, might be deadly.

The evil stellar mass in question is a Wolf Rayet star. When these stars die and the right conditions are met (they must be 30 times more massive than the sun and fast-rotating), they run the risk of collapsing into a spinning black hole, around the axis of which would be powerful jets of high-energy gamma radiation. Turns out, the star meets the criteria. And guess what? Earth is right in its line of fire.

Well, chances are that any "death ray" that WR 104 might release won't be aimed straight at us. To say that space is vast is a mindbogglingly ridiculous understatement, so the chances that any gamma ray burst emitted by WR 104 would miss the Earth seem excellent indeed.

Ann

Edit: Uh, no. The star of today's APOD is WR 124. The star that might spit a gamma ray burst in our faces if WR 104.

Sorry. :oops:
Last edited by Ann on Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:26 am

Also of note about WR 124 is this remarkable fact:
It is one of the fastest runaway stars in the Milky Way with a radial velocity around 200 km/s.
Something kicked it far from its birth cluster. When it does explode as a supernova it will be far removed from the stars it formed with.
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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:44 pm

wr124_hubbleschmidt_960.jpg
Windy; but beautiful! Too bad they don't have a very long future!
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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:09 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:44 pm
wr124_hubbleschmidt_960.jpg

Windy; but beautiful! Too bad they don't have a very long future!
Is there any "they" there? Not possible, imo.
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Post by neufer » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:18 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiral_Ackbar wrote: <<Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar is a member of the amphibious Mon Calamari species, Ackbar was the foremost military commander of the Rebel Alliance, and led the attack against the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi (1983). With his distinctive salmon-colored skin, webbed hands, high-domed head, and large fish-like eyes, Ackbar was portrayed by puppeteer Timothy D. Rose, who originally played other characters, but requested to also play Ackbar after seeing his sculpt on a display stand. Erik Bauersfeld voiced the character in Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but died before the filming of The Last Jedi, in which he was replaced by Tom Kane. Ackbar had just 14 lines of dialogue in Return of the Jedi, and his total screen time across all three film appearances totaled only three minutes and 30 seconds. His line "It's a trap!" from Return of the Jedi became one of the most famous, quoted and beloved lines from the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as a popular Internet meme. Several fans expressed disappointment with Ackbar's sudden death in The Last Jedi, calling it abrupt and unceremonious, a sentiment echoed by Ackbar actors Rose and Kane, as well as the film's editor Bob Ducsay.>>
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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by ta152h0 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:58 pm

Tough life out there! Human life must be very rare; these things look dangerous. Pass the ice cold one.
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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by heehaw » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:17 pm

ta152h0 wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:58 pm
Tough life out there! Human life must be very rare; these things look dangerous. Pass the ice cold one.
Sure does look dangerous. Even in our own solar system. Freeman Dyson, who just died, envisioned a future in which humans used all the resources of our solar system by disassembling Jupiter to make a Dyson sphere, a sphere around the Sun at Earth's distance from the Sun to capture all the radiated energy of the Sun. But he didn't know about the solar wind, which could not possibly be choked by us and which would make life on the inside of a Dyson sphere impossible. I really suspect that at the present moment we on Earth are the ONLY civilization in the entire galaxy. Hey! I think I'll pour me a beer!

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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:03 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:09 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:44 pm
wr124_hubbleschmidt_960.jpg

Windy; but beautiful! Too bad they don't have a very long future!
Is there any "they" there? Not possible, imo.
You could be right; but i thought there were more than one wolf stars out there! Aren't they the candle stars? Don't know where I got that idea! 😵
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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:24 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:03 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:09 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:44 pm
wr124_hubbleschmidt_960.jpg

Windy; but beautiful! Too bad they don't have a very long future!
Is there any "they" there? Not possible, imo.
You could be right; but i thought there were more than one wolf stars out there! Aren't they the candle stars? Don't know where I got that idea! 😵
We've detected hundreds of Wolf-Rayet stars. And the I think the standard candles you're thinking of are Cepheid variables.
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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:48 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:24 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:03 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:09 pm


Is there any "they" there? Not possible, imo.
You could be right; but i thought there were more than one wolf stars out there! Aren't they the candle stars? Don't know where I got that idea! 😵
We've detected hundreds of Wolf-Rayet stars. And the I think the standard candles you're thinking of are Cepheid variables.
Thanks!
Orin

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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by neufer » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:49 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:48 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:24 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:03 pm

You could be right; but i thought there were more than one wolf stars out there! Aren't they the candle stars? Don't know where I got that idea! 😵
We've detected hundreds of Wolf-Rayet stars. And the I think the standard candles you're thinking of are Cepheid variables.
Thanks!
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Wolf-Rayet Star 124: Stellar Wind... (2020 Mar 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:56 pm

neufer wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:49 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:48 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:24 pm

We've detected hundreds of Wolf-Rayet stars. And the I think the standard candles you're thinking of are Cepheid variables.
Thanks!
➕ 1
Orin

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