The 19th century explosion of the star light echoes arrive Earth 170 years later

12/1/2012

According to foreign media reports, the 19th century, star η Carinae (China called "seamounts II") violent outbreak, for a time became the second brightest star in the sky. Although astronomers at the time of this history still can not afford a rare outbreak of violent conduct in-depth study of the phenomenon, but it does not matter, the recent U.S. Space Telescope Science Institute scientists have detected this outbreak of "light echo." The discovery allows astronomers to use modern equipment to study the star η Carinae, and saw it in the year 1838 to 1858 occurred between the outbreak of the scene.

Light echo research in recent years become very popular, is the main reason for the success of V838 Monocerotis observed cases. We observed the Monoceros V838, to see is an expansion of the gas shell, but in essence, this is the light shines outward expansion of the gas and dust shell and the occurrence of reflection scenarios. In this process, the first explosion of light toward the other direction, until the dust and gas shell off the reflector and the direction of the Earth, which is what we observed. In other words, compared directly to the earth, these rays go some distance, which means that they will postpone the arrival time of some of the Earth. For the star η Carinae, this delay of up to 170 years!

However, this reflected the nature of light compared to the original light has changed, because they reflect the gas and dust shell itself is outward movement. In particular, these rays showed obvious blue shift, which tell scientists the reflected light of gas and dust shell itself, the movement speed of up to 210 kilometers per second. The numerical and theoretical star η Carinae for a similar outbreak of such a prediction made by the process line. But for the study of light echoes have also been theories that do not meet expected results.

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