NASA Highlight: The Carbon Star is the astronomical image of the day

The star CW Leonis seems in an astronomical picture highlighted by NASA on Monday (17), in a picture captured by the Hubble Telescope. It’s 400 mild years away from us, and it’s thought-about the closest carbon star to Earth.

This star seems to be surrounded by a gaseous cloud wealthy in carbon, with a construction of arcs and envelopes. It isn’t identified for positive what’s behind the construction, and you may test it out within the picture beneath:

The star’s orange shade is the results of atmospheric carbon coming from the star’s inside by means of nuclear fusion. As a result of their decrease gravity, these stars are in a position to launch carbon and derived compounds into house extra effectively.

Along with the orange shell, the star has one other unusual function: there are rays of sunshine in it, the depth of which has modified in brightness over a interval of solely 15 years. The time could be very brief in astronomical phrases, and it was attributable to a course of that’s unknown for the time being.

What’s a carbon star?

To know carbon stars, one should first recall the processes in stars of medium mass. After they exhaust their reserves of hydrogen for nuclear fusion, the star collapses and ultimately turns into a crimson big.

Most carbon stars are of this sort, which partly explains their reddish hue. Another excuse lies within the outer layers of those stars, which scatter blue-green mild. Solely crimson and orange mild can cross the barrier and attain our eyes.

Additionally, carbon stars are variable, which implies that the depth of their mild modifications periodically. This distinction can happen inside just a few months, however it may additionally take greater than a yr.

supply: APOD