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miércoles, 28 de junio de 2017

They publish the most detailed image of a star 1,400 times bigger than the Sun

The largest radio telescope in the world has managed to capture the surface of this star in the constellation Orion, about 600 light years from Earth.

An international team of astronomers has used the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array), the world's largest radio telescope, to achieve the most detailed image of the famous Betelgeuse, one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

The photograph of its surface provides new data on the famous red supergiant found in the constellation Orion, about 600 light years from Earth.

"This is the first time that the ALMA has observed the surface of a star, and this first attempt has resulted in the highest resolution Betelgeuse image available," said the European Southern Observatory, one of the groups that operates the telescope.

The image reveals remarkably that the temperature in the inner atmosphere of the star is far from uniform. The discovery could help explain how the atmospheres of this type of stars are heated and how their material is transported to the interstellar medium.

In terms of size, Betelgeuse is huge: purchased with our Sun, is approximately 1,400 times larger in diameter and more than 1 billion times larger in terms of volume. "The star is about 8 million years old," says the European Observatory, "but it is about to become a supernova."

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