Magnetic Jet Shows How Stars Begin Their Final Transformation
An international team of astronomers have for the first time found a jet of high-energy particles emanating from a dying star. The discovery, by a collaboration of scientists from Sweden, Germany and Australia, is a crucial step in explaining how some of the most beautiful objects in space are formed – and what happens when stars like the sun reach the end of their lives. The researchers publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
At the end of their lives, stars like the sun transform into some of the most beautiful objects in space: amazing symmetric clouds of gas called planetary nebulae. But how planetary nebulae get their strange shapes has long been a mystery to astronomers.
Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have together with colleagues from Germany and Australia discovered what could be the key to the answer: a high-speed, magnetic jet from a dying star.