Feb 11, 2020 - Science

Astronomers capture a stellar deep space confrontation

A red giant encircling a companion star

Photo: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Olofsson, et al.

There's no match for the drama of a confrontation in deep space. Astronomers spotted this gas cloud created when one dying star became a red giant, growing large enough to encircle a companion star.

What's happening: The companion star then fell toward the dying one, forcing it to slough off its outer layers of gas, according to the European Southern Observatory, exposing its core.

  • "With detailed images of the environment of HD101584 we can make the connection between the giant star it was before, and the stellar remnant it will soon become,” Sofia Ramstedt from Uppsala University, Sweden, said in a statement about the photo.

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