Friday, June 15, 2012
A dying star points its gun gamma rays Sun
A star located 7,000 light years from Earth will generate a flow of poisonous gamma rays and is aim it seems that to our solar system, according to a team of physicists and astronomers. Within a few hundred thousand years, in short, as the clocks of cosmologists-Rayet star Wolf 104 (WR104), actually more of a binary system of two stars that revolve around a common center of gravity, will explode violently in a supernova
except it will not do since most huge stars, according to Peter Tut hill, a researcher at the School of Physics, University of Sydney (Australia), published this month in the important Astrophysical Journal work of several years leading a team of researchers.
WR104 has a very fast rotation, and massive stars that rotate at high speed, when they collapse in a supernova, rather than suddenly explode, throwing first a intense flux of gamma radiation by its two poles along its axis. According to Tut hill, the revolution axis of the WR104 points directly to the area of space through which pass our solar system in the Milky Way.
Wolf-Rayet star 104 has a mass 25 times greater than the sun and, like most of the bigger stars than ours, life is short and violent. For astronomers, the WR104 is a bomb with a short fuse.
The star is already dying, being ejected material and photos of Tut hill, taken over six years and placed in sequence, like a movie, show the beautiful spiral drawing in space, according to tour with his companion, leaving a trail of gas.
Tut hill and his team worked for years with the optical observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii (USA), mainly on observations of infrared radiation, the spectrum associated with hot gas and dust around stars.
Adrian Mellot, an astrophysicist at the University of Kansas, and proposed five years ago that a stream of gamma rays that could reach Earth from a supernova about 450 million years could be the cause of extinction of most plant and animal species at the end of Silurian.
few seconds upon exposure to an intense beam of gamma rays from a nearby supernova, a few thousand light years is neighborhood to the astronomers may have caused, according Mellot, the immediate destruction of almost all the ozone layer. A few years, the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, atmospheric without the filter has a deadly effect on the chromosome of alive organisms.
Although not found further evidence of the coincidence of the great extinctions with supernova explosions within our galaxy, biologists agree that such events would have noticeable effects on living things.
Gamma-ray jets (Gamma Ray Bursts, GRB) were identified in the years sixty after several false alarms in the satellites military guarding nuclear weapons during the Cold War. According to astronomers and physicists, the sudden contraction of a dying star without enough mass to collapse into black hole, an emission of gamma rays whose energy, in seconds, is equivalent to all that has issued the Sun in his life.
Explosions with an energy as high as cosmologists have even strong enough to cause the birth of new solar systems in their neighborhood, compacting with interstellar gas and dust impact.
According to the calculation of astronomers, a supernova exploded in our 'neighborhood' of the Milky Way every 450,000 years on average, but not all explosions are preceded by a jet of gamma rays and much less towards the Earth.
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