Humanity and its fascination with space is something as old as ‘walking backwards’. This search for knowledge in the stars has not only given us fictional intergalactic stories, but much of our evolution in science comes from these studies. And with each new discovery, the horizon gets wider and further away, generating a lot of expectation, euphoria and new questions.
The latest discovery is that of a star whose surface is covered in carbon and oxygen. Why is this unusual? I explain. Or rather, science explains it!
Normally, stars have a surface composed of hydrogen and helium; this is the most common situation and one that scientists who study space are used to encounter. But University of Tubingen, in Germany, made the discovery of stars that have carbon and oxygen on their surface, with temperatures and radii that demonstrate that there is helium burning in their cores. This burning inside may indicate that it is a more evolved star, as such a phenomenon is normal for these stars.
The study that addresses these stars was published in the scientific journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. This is a very rare event, and researchers believe it could be a stellar merger.
There are also research National University of La Platain Argentina, and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysicsfrom Germany, which address issues related to the birth of these stars.
The rare stellar fusion, in this case, must have taken place between two white dwarfs – stars that have burned up all their hydrogen fuel that is the fate of most stars, including the Sun.
“Normally, white dwarf mergers do not lead to the formation of stars enriched in carbon and oxygen, but we believe that for binary systems formed with very specific masses, a white dwarf rich in carbon and oxygen can be disrupted and end up on top of a rich one. into helium, leading to the formation of these stars”, explains Miller Bertolami, from Institute of Astrophysics of La Plata.
Currently, no stellar evolutionary model can explain this phenomenon. Astronomers will develop more refined models to study the evolution of these stars.
“Typically, we expect stars with these surface compositions to have finished burning helium in their cores and are on their way to becoming white dwarfs. These new stars pose a serious challenge to our understanding of stellar evolution.” points out Klaus Werner, author of the study of University of Tubingen.
What repercussions might this have for future space exploration? Well, as I said at the beginning, new discoveries generate new questions.
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Via: Brazilian Mail Source: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society