Sunday, May 28, 2023

“Extraordinary” discovery of Andalusian astrophysicists

Andalusian astrophysicists from the Universities of Jaén and Huelva have discovered an “extraordinary” very high-speed T-Tauri type young star whose trail is the longest ever observed among runaway stars, calling the discovery “unique”. also builds in “case”. Known Universe”, as reported by Jain University (UJA).

These results, obtained after years of optical observation and archival data collection, have been published in the prestigious journal ‘Astronomy and Astrophysics’ by UJA researchers Josep Marti Ribas and Pedro Luis Luc Escamilla and collaborators from the University of Huelva Estrella Sánchez Ayaso. ,

Researchers say it’s not often you find a star like this, let alone one that leaves a visible trail. Even rare is finding one that leaves the longest trail ever seen, and a very young star too.

Stars form in what is known as gas-rich molecular clouds, which can clump together until the nuclear reaction that ignites the star begins. This is why young stars, including so-called T-Tauris, are usually seen all together, close to their place of birth. However, some of them are visible in regions far away from the said clouds and devoid of gas.

The star recently discovered by Jane’s group, named UJT-1) is of this type, and is the most convincing example of a runaway T-Tauri star found to date. This could have implications for understanding how stars form and evolve.

In addition, in this case, a huge tail, generated by rotation in the dusty medium at a dizzying speed of 50 kilometers per second, shoots out. Such trails can only be seen in infrared radiation, thanks to dust that heats up as the star passes. But the dust cools quickly, so the trails behind runaway stars are rarely visible.

In the case of the UJT-1, there is a nearby source of heat in the surrounding medium which prevents the dust from cooling and the trail remains visible for a long time. That heat source could be a shock wave from a neighboring supernova, a star that explodes when it dies, spewing its material into the environment.

“That’s why we can see UJT-1’s tail and reconstruct its formation history back half a million years, which allows us to do a kind of space archaeology, and study how stars how the amount of matter ejected has evolved over that time”, explain the astrophysicists, who stress that this makes the discovery of UJT-1 “particularly interesting” to students of star formation.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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