Unknown wheel in the sky

 

The universe is full of mysteries.

We have probably explained very little about the universe, than we would like to admit. With the help of the Hubble Space telescope, astronomers have spotted this strange spiral taken in near infrared light, and it remains a mystery.

Some astronomers guess that it might be a star circling another star in a binary star system entering the final days of its life. The star could be on the verge of exploding to form an interstellar cloud of gas and debris.

The final stage of a star’s life is called a planetary nebulae phase, and this atmosphere of this star may ejecting into surrounding space.

From the expansion rate of the spiral, scientists have surmised that a new layer must be appearing once every 800 years. This coincidently, is a close match to the time it takes for the two stars to orbit each other.

But they could be entirely wrong. Really your guess is as good as theirs. Maybe you can solve this mystery.
 

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, R. Sahai (JPL)

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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