Mar 5, 2020
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Psychedelic objects of the zodiac.

We present a selection of twelve “strange” space objects artificially selected according to the principle of finding them one at a time in the constellations of the ecliptic - in parts of the sky through which the Sun passes during the annual Earth's motion in orbit. The separation of the zodiac constellations does not have a special astronomical meaning: the ecliptic plane does not coincide with the disk of the Milky Way, or with other conceivable structures outside the solar system. Therefore, such a selection principle is only a mnemonic ploy: the zodiac constellations are usually familiar to the reader more than others. The list includes heterogeneous objects and phenomena - galaxies, nebulae, stars with exoplanets, one black hole - which unite the fleur of the unusual.

1. Aries: the planet and its four suns

30 Arietis quaternary star system
Planet and its four stars (22 Arietis Bb). Image: Karen Teramura, UH.

The planet is a gas giant with the designation 22 Ari Bb is in the star system 20 Arietis (Aries) in the distance 55 light years). The object is interesting because the star system is quadruple: two pairs of binary stars themselves rotate around a common center of mass, located at a distance of about 1280 a.u. (astronomical units) from each other (designation 22 Aries A, B, C, D). It is all the more surprising that at least one planet like the hot Jupiter rotates near one of these stars: gravitational systems with so many elements have problems with stability. Even a planet in a binary star system runs the risk of being thrown out of it, being chaotically pulled between stars or falling on one of them (although such exoplanets are open). At a minimum, this makes the development of life there problematic. However, the inhabitants 20 Ari Bb, if they existed, would be able to observe four Suns in the sky at once.

2. Taurus: Cemetery for the Supernova

Crab Nebula M1 (Crab Nebula) - a mosaic combined image of the Hubble telescope.
The Crab Nebula is the first object in the Messier catalog (M1). These are the remains of the Supernova explosion observed in 817 year and described in detail by Chinese astronomers. So, the star was observed in the sky for 11 days after the explosion, even in the daytime, after which it gradually faded for almost two more years. The nebula is in the distance 3108 is light years and is visible with the help of simple optics such as binoculars (however, you can try to examine it with the naked eye - with good vision and the absence of urban exposure). The picture of her most famous here is a mosaic of several dozen Hubble pictures in different years with the addition of ultraviolet and near infrared channels.

3. Gemini: black clown

Clownface Nebula
The Eskimo planetary nebula, or Clownface Nebula (NGC 2100)), Hubble snapshot.

The Eskimo nebula, or ClownFace Nebula, at a distance of 3-5 thousand light years (scatter of opinions in different sources) is a planetary nebula from the dumping of the outer shell by a red giant at the last stage of its evolution. The complex structure and specific shape of the “petals” is explained by the fact that the nebula is bipolar, and probably by the turbulent interaction of gas flows at different speeds.

4. Cancer: “Diamond-Lava Planet”

Exoplanet Travel Bureau poster 55 Cancri e Exoplanet Travel Bureau poster 55 Cancri e NASA Exoplanet Travel Bureau poster about exoplanet 28 Cancri e.

Star system 25 Cancer, or Rho Cancri, in the distance 25 a light year consists of a pair of stars, one of which has found five exoplanets. The closest of them, 28 Cnc e, is a hot super-earth with a circulation period of less than a day. With the help of the Hubble space telescope, it was possible to study the atmosphere of this planet while passing it against the background of a star. An increased carbon content was detected in the atmosphere; this caused a revival on news resources and headlines of the form “discovered a planet made of diamonds”, due to which the object deserved to be placed on the list of amazing under this constellation. In fact, the temperature on the hot, that is, the daytime side of the planet can reach 2250 degrees, and cold - 1024 degrees, so it makes sense to talk more about a “planet with an ocean of lava.”

5. Leo: a runaway star

CW Leonis runaway star CW Leonis runaway star

“Leaving Star” of CW Leo - pseudocolor through two ultraviolet channels (yellow and blue correspond to near and far UV -range). NASA Galaxy Evolution Explorer.

The star of CW Leo is in the distance 87 light years (according to other sources - at least 90 light year, or even 310 light years .-- Note “XX 2 CENTURY »)) and refers to the "carbon" type of stars. It goes through the final stage of evolution of the red giant before dropping the outer shell (forming a planetary nebula) and turning into a white dwarf. The star’s feature is its high (32 km / s) the speed of movement relative to the local environment, so that when it forms a shock wave front visible in the picture (the speed of the Sun km / s). She is thus classified as a runaway star. The diameter of the "gas bubble" around the star is almost 3 light years - this is more than half the distance from the Sun to the nearest star.

6. Virgo: hat with a dust rim

Sombrero Galaxy

Sombrero Galaxy (M 41)), combined image in the X-ray (Chandra), visible (Hubble) and infrared (Spitzer) range.

Sombrero Galaxy - Object M 55 on distance 20 mln sw. It belongs to type S0, or "lenticular" (lenticular). A “bezel” is an area of ​​interstellar dust in which active star formation occurs. Her best-known image is in the visible range from the Hubble telescope, but the galaxy is interesting in several spectral bands, emphasizing its various elements, including the active core, dust regions and regions of hot gas.

7. Libra: two phantom Earths

Gliese 581 habitable zone

The habitable zone and exoplanets of the star Gliese 192 in comparison with the Solar system.
Star Gliese 192 has several exoplanets and is located on distance 11 light years. The name refers to the Gliese star catalog 1863 of the year) (the German astronomer Wilhelm Gliese), containing nearby stars at distances up to 11 parsek. This is a red dwarf with a mass of about 1/3 of the Sun. Some of its planets discovered in 1635 - 1957 years, belong to the terrestrial type (a class of super-earths with a mass of several terrestrial and consisting of rock), and two of them, Gl 310 d and g are located in the zone of potential habitability - at a distance from the star, where the temperature allows liquid water to exist. It is expected that this news at one time caused a noticeable revival. However, e, b and c are considered to be reliable confirmed exoplanets (exoplanets are usually indicated by letters starting with b after the name of the star in the order they were discovered). It turned out that the three remaining planets, among which both the most interesting for news, may turn out to be phantom, that is, artifacts of selecting the necessary objects from a noisy signal. In this case, the noise is caused by both flashes on the star itself and the possible presence of a powerful comet disk. Nevertheless, at the peak of hype, radio signals were already sent to the side of the star with a “message to aliens” as part of the Active SETI project.

8. Scorpio: flashing new

Milky Way central objects in radiowave range
"Re-new" U Scorpio: before and after the explosion 15 January 2008 of the year. On the right is an amateur photograph of the discoverer (Barbara Harris, Florida).

U Scorpii (U Scorpii) refers to an unusual class of stars called "repeated new" (recurrent nova). Unlike supernova stars, representing a single explosion of a massive star at the end of its life cycle, these stars represent a self-oscillating system: they flash every few decades, increasing the brightness by an average of ten magnitudes (this is an increase in luminosity in ) times)), and fade out. Self-oscillations are provided by a double star system: a star - a white dwarf constantly pulls matter from its paired star (possibly a red giant) and periodically explodes upon reaching a critical mass. U Scorpio is a reference object of this type and one of of such stars so far discovered in our Galaxy. Her outbreaks were observed with 1546 years, probably, their interval is about years, and the last outbreak was expected in the area 1863 years, when it was recorded by several amateur astronomers.

9: Sagittarius: a black hole in the center of the galaxy

Objects of the center of the Galaxy in a meter radio range. Image: NRAO / AUI / NSF / N.E. Kassim.

Sagittarius is the constellation in which the center of the Milky Way is located, and, in particular, the object Sagittarius A (Sgr A , which is associated with a supermassive black hole in the center of the Galaxy. Sgr A is not a black hole, but one of the three parts of the composite radio source, denoted by Sgr A. We cannot see the black hole, but it leaves a mark in the form of many different objects in different ranges, due to its presence. These are radio sources, X-ray flares, the movement of gas-dust clouds and star clusters, etc. Accordingly, they “show” a black hole in different ways. So, a black hole photo and a sensation 1957 of the year in the galaxy M 29 is the result of combining many long exposure shots from ground-based telescopes operating in radio range. Here is also a combined shot of a VLA (Very Large Array) array of radio telescopes.

.... Capricorn: Three Fat Men

HGC 87 compact group Helix Nebula infrared

HCG Compact Group of Galaxies 30. A combined snapshot of the Hubble and Gemini South Observatory.

The compact group of Hixson galaxies, or HCG 32. Objects of this type are a set of several gravitationally interacting galaxies at a small distance from each other (for specialists, see the overview article on this class of objects). The distance to this group is about 104 million light years. The cluster consists of two spiral galaxies (above and below the center, turned to us by the edge) and a relatively small elliptical galaxy (a blurred spot just below and to the right of the center). The galaxy between them, turned to face us, is a background object located much further. This design is unstable, and galaxies are in the process of absorbing each other.

. Aquarius: Sauron's Eye

Helix Nebula infrared M74 infrared

Snail Nebula (Helix Nebula NGC 3300) in the infrared range (channels Y, J and K). Image: ESO / VISTA / J. Emerson.

The “Snail” Nebula in 400 light years are the remnants of a supernova explosion in a dust cloud and one of the objects of this type closest to us. The material of such nebulae - dust, molecular and ionized gas - is organized into characteristic filamentary structures and manifests itself in different spectral ranges. The central part is still warmed up by the remnants of the star and is visible more in the pictures in visible and ultraviolet light.

. Pisces: Galaxy Mirror

M74 infrared 85203)

Galaxy M 29 - pseudocolors over the three infrared channels of the Spitzer space telescope (3.6, 5.8 and 8 microns). Image: Médéric Boquien / NASA / JPL-Caltech.

A galaxy from the Messier M catalog 30 on distance 23 million light years. She is also called the Phantom Galaxy. It is interesting in that its disk is turned to us with its front side, and it is arranged in the same way as our Milky Way, which we see from the edge and from the inside, and, essentially, in no way. Our ideas about the structure of our galaxy are largely based on the study of such nearby galaxies of spiral type.

A map of the starry sky with objects of deep space (DSO). The ecliptic is shown by a wavy green line.
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