Using the Hubble Space Telescope NASA has discovered a strange star in our Milky Way galaxy. The star was named “Nasty I” because it has a behavior which has never been met before.
The Wolf-Rayet celestial body is hidden within a very large gas mass which has the shape of a pancake. This made the star very difficult to be observed. The Wolf-Rayet star was was discovered a few decades ago, but it was no longer visible because of the mass of gas which made it invisible even for Hubble’s advanced technology. It is rapidly-evolving star and it is, in addition, more massive than the Sun. The star is rapidly losing its hydrogen-filled outer layers. This makes its very hot and extremely bright helium-burning core be exposed.
The reason why the star was called “Nasty” is because of its weird and unpredictable behavior. The pancake-shaped gas mass around the star might come from a second Wolf-Rayet star, which formed within NaSt1’s neighborhood. The research led experts to believe that the nasty star could be “eating” the Wolf-Rayet sphere which has just formed. As a result more hydrogen is released.
The lead author of the study, Jon Mauerhan of UC Berkeley, said:
“We were excited to see this disk-like structure because it may be evidence for a Wolf-Rayet star forming from a binary interaction.”
Mauerhan said that scientists guess there is a Wolf-Rayet star inside the nebula, which is created by the mass-transfer process. The name reason why the researchers named the star “Nasty” is because of the nebulous body which is characterized by a sloppy stellar cannibalism.
He added that such phenomenon is very rare in the galaxy particularly because this phase of the process is short-lived. This phase lasts a hundred thousand years, whereas the period of time over which the resulting disk can be seen is of only ten thousand years of less.
Nasty I which is located at approximately 3.000 light year away from our planet is believed to be larger than the Sun. Although its aging process is rapid right now the star is young, scientists estimating that it only has a few thousand years.
The authors of the study noted that it is not yet clear how the star will evolve, but its evolution will most certainly not be boring.
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