Revealed the secret rectangular nebula

17.05.2004

17.05.2004


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Imagine a ring of smoke when you look at them sideways — and you get some idea of what is going on in a red box, which is actually not a rectangle. Optical illusion — the result of joint efforts of the two stars revolving around each other for thousands of years and created a strange gas emissions. Intermittent streams spread into the surrounding space in the form of circular rings on two imaginary cones, but we can see them from the side. These emissions are symmetrical and in opposite directions. All these details Nebula, it was strange to see the picture taken "Hubble."

• «The red rectangle" — an optical illusion

This structure is called a planetary nebula. The nebula, which is given the name of HD 44179, located 2,300 light-years away. "Red Rectangle" she was named in 1973 by Martin Cohen and Mike Merrill because of its appearance on old photographic plates. Name remains, though it does not correspond to reality: it is not a rectangle, but rather two glasses, facing each other bottoms, and between them, where they should touch the bottoms, is a star. On the outer curve of the fiber are as vague stairs, crossing the interior of the "shots".

Yes, this is a complex form. And only now, astronomers began to realize that it has created. Cohen of the University of California in collaboration with Hans Fan Winkel Loyvena of the Catholic University (Belgium) analyzed new shots from "Hubble." The first time they have revealed new structures that can explain all of its internal organization. The secret of the nebula, as it turned out, is that it is a binary system.

The more massive a star is now at the stage of becoming a red giant. The process has reached a stage where the gravity of the second star begins to pull back from her agent. Star loses huge masses, but it does not matter in all directions, rushing up and down from bublikopodobnogo disk of dust orbiting both stars, and not through it. That's why on Earth is seen double cone. These emissions are not constant, there is a flash, creating a ring-like structure of the nebula.

15.05.2004

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