One of the largest stars in the Milky Way is becoming unstable: what is happening

Spread the love

Share

  • One of the largest stars in the Milky Way is becoming unstable: what is happening

    send to Telegram

  • One of the largest stars in the Milky Way is becoming unstable: what's going on

    share on Facebook

  • One of the largest stars in the Milky Way becomes unstable: what's going on

    tweet

  • One of the largest stars in the Milky Way is becoming unstable: what's going on

    send to Viber

  • One of the largest stars of the Milky Way becomes unstable: what's going on

    send to Whatsapp

  • One of the largest stars in the Milky Way is becoming unstable: what is happening

    send to Messenger

One of the largest stars of the Milky Way becomes unstable: what is happening

Scientists believe that the same thing is happening to this giant as happened to the famous star Betelgeuse.

Related video

RW Cephei is the third largest star known to astronomers, which is a red hypergiant. Scientists believe that this giant is experiencing an event called the “Great Darkening”, that is, the same thing that another giant star Betelgeuse experienced several years ago, writes Forbes.

U Focus. Technology has its own Telegram channel. Subscribe to not miss the latest and exciting news from the world of science!

A star called RW Cephei is located at a distance of 11.5 thousand light years from us in the constellation Cepheus. Scientists classify it as a red hypergiant and it is one of the largest stars in our galaxy. In diameter, it is 1.5 thousand times larger than the Sun, it is 600 thousand times brighter than our star, and if it were in our solar system, then the edge of its atmosphere would be somewhere closer to Saturn.

Now some astronomers believe that something unusual is happening to the star. And this is similar to the event that happened to Betelgeuse, when its brightness dropped sharply for a while, that is, the star “darkened”. According to scientists, RW Cephei has now significantly reduced its brightness. As for Betelgeuse, there have been suggestions that such an effect may be due to the fact that it will soon explode in a supernova.

Focus has already written about the main theories that explain the darkening of Betelgeuse.< /p>

One of the largest stars in the Milky Way becomes unstable: what's going on

One of the largest stars in the Milky Way is becoming unstable: what is happening

Betelgeuse is a red supergiant, and RW Cephei is a red hypergiant, according to the classification of astronomers and they have their own differences, although what they are united by the status of one of the largest stars in the galaxy that are known to science.

Astronomers believe that such giant stars have already reached the maximum of their vital activity and expanded to such a size that the next stage of their existence will only be a supernova explosion. By the way, with regard to red hypergiants, these stars explode as hypernovae – very powerful supernovae.

Three years ago, when Betelgeuse dimmed, some scientists speculated that there might be an explosion soon. But so much time has passed, and no supernova has appeared, and the star has returned to its original brightness.

At the same time, scientists believe that Betelgeuse is still slowly dying and is now in a state that precedes a supernova explosion . And this state can last for a very long time on the scale of a human life.

One of the largest stars of the Milky Way becomes unstable: what's going on

One of the largest stars in the Milky Way becomes unstable: what is happening

As you know, our Sun in 4-5 billion years the end of its evolution will increase in size and swallow the Earth, Mars, Venus and Mercury. So, the star RW Cephei is just at this stage of life.

But you also need to remember that most stars that are supergiants and hypergiants are variable stars. That is, they can change their brightness very often – first dim, and then become brighter over time.

But the 2019 Betelgeuse darkening and now the 2022 RW Cepheus darkening are events that seem to fall out of the normal cycle of changes in the brightness of giant stars. That is, they behave differently, if not very strange, scientists say.

Therefore, now many astronomers have directed all their efforts to observing RW Cepheus in order to find out what is happening to it. And perhaps soon the same theories will appear that will try to explain what is happening, as it was already with Betelgeuse.

The process of formation of our galaxy may also seem strange and unusual, but nevertheless it is very interesting. Focus already wrote that scientists told how the Milky Way appeared, how it all began and what space cannibalism has to do with it.