Friday, November 9, 2012

The nature of the mysterious jet nebula

The source of activity jets or jets rising from a planetary nebula, are a pair of orbiting each other stars, scientists say.

The research team, led by astronomer Henri Boffin of the European Southern Observatory studied strange form of jets emitted by a planetary nebula Fleming 1, located in the southern constellation Centaurs.

Despite their name, planetary nebulas have nothing to do with planets - they are the last cry emitted by dying white dwarf.

The researchers found that within the nebula Fleming 1 is very close binary system of stars, with a period of stars relative to each other is only 1.2 days.

One of the stars of the system during its evolution from the red giant to the asymptotic giant branch stars ballooned to epic proportions and gas began to flow to the companion star. At this point, and there were jets nebula shapes. This period in the life of the system lasted from 5000 to 10,000 years, after which the giant star has become a white dwarf, and the emission of jets has stopped, says the academic.

The study appeared in the journal Science on November 9.

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