Zeta Ophiuchi is a star with a complicated past, having likely been ejected from its birthplace by a powerful stellar explosion. A new look by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory helps tell more of the story of this runaway star.

Located about 440 light-years from Earth, Zeta Ophiuchi is a hot star that is 20 times more massive than the Sun. Previous observations have provided 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. 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. Data from Chandra shows 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.

Read more: Embracing a Rejected Star

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Dublin Inst. Advanced Studies/S. Green et al.; Infrared: NASA/JPL/Spitzer


天市右垣十一(蛇夫座ζ)是一颗有着复杂历史的恒星,它可能是由一次强大的恒星爆炸从其诞生地喷射出来。NASA钱德拉X射线天文台的一幅新照片帮助我们更多地了解这颗失控恒星的故事。

天市右垣十一距离地球约440光年,是一颗质量比太阳大20倍的炽热恒星。此前的观测提供了证据,证明天市右垣十一曾经与另一颗恒星处于近距离轨道,但在100多万年前,当该伴星在超新星爆炸中被摧毁时,它以每小时约10万英里的速度被喷射出来。在这张新的合成图像中,NASA现已退役的斯皮策太空望远镜先前发布的红外数据揭示了一个壮观的冲击波(红色和绿色),该冲击波是由物质从恒星表面吹离并在其轨道上撞击气体形成。来自钱德拉的数据显示,恒星周围有一个X射线发射气泡(蓝色),由被冲击波效应加热到数千万度的气体产生。

阅读更多:拥抱被拒绝的明星

影像来源:X射线:NASA/CXC/Dublin Inst. Advanced Studies/S. Green et al.; 红外线:NASA/JPL/Spitzer

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