Elvis Presley is not the only big star who allegedly “faked” their death. It can happen with heavy stars as well.

Over 99% of the stars develop at a very slow pace over a period of tens of millions to hundreds of billions of years. But there are exceptions whose rate of development is very high.

Dozens of star-studded stars explode in other galaxies each year – supernova explosions that end the star’s active life. The explosion remains a neutron star that is a slightly heavier body than the sun, or a black hole that is the most dense object in nature.

Dr. Amit Kashi of the physics department of Ariel University in Samaria recently published his findings about the Carina Nebula (or Homunculus Nebula or Eta Carinae) in the journal New Astronomy under the title “Periodicity in the light curve of P Cygni–Indication for a binary companion?”

He says that “like a forensics lab, we have developed special methods that allow us to identify whether what we think of as a supernova is indeed a real explosion or a star ‘faking’ a huge explosion. The main idea is that the cause of a huge eruption is another star in an elliptical orbit around the heavy star.”

The last supernova explosion of a massive star in our galaxy – the Milky Way – was observed in the 17th century in the Cassiopea group. A supernova explosion is a one-time event for any heavy star – in which the star actually ends his life. But there are special rare stars, 100 times heavier than the sun, that “falsify their deaths.”

These stars erupt in giant bursts that throw a lot of material into the star’s environment and shine with a light almost as strong as a supernova. These outbursts confuse scientists who mistakenly think that this is indeed a real supernova explosion.

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This is where the heavy pair of stars called Eta Karina enters the picture.

This pair of stars undergoes an important development right before our eyes, yet without destroying itself in the explosion, but the supernova explosion is inevitable and will occur in less than a million years.

Eta Karina has been known for many years as a “changing blue giant,” meaning that his illumination rose and fell, not necessarily in a regular cycle. From 1811, the brightness of the star began to rise slowly and peaked in April 1843.

In fact, Eta Karina underwent a huge eruption, but the star is not “dead” and has survived to this day. Its radiation is five million times more powerful than the sun. It is 7m500 light-years away, so it is visible in the naked eye, but as a weak star.

The main idea is that the cause of a huge eruption is another star in an elliptical orbit around the heavy star, he explains. Heavy stars are unstable because the strong radiation coming from them pushes material out against the star gravity that tries to keep it connected to the star.

The gravitational forces of the conjugal star as it approaches its oval path to the giant planet can destabilize the delicate balance, causing huge amounts of gas to break away from the heavy star.

Some of the material is added to the second star and releases tremendous energy approaching the supernova energy.

This process has unique “finger” fingerprints, such as the connection between the energy in the process and the time of the eruption, and a typical rate of emitted radiation decay. “We have learned to identify these ‘fingerprints,’and today we know very well how to identify fake outbursts,” Kashi concluded.

Before moving to Ariel University, he was a research associate in the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Minnesota and investigated topics related to massive stars and their evolution. 

Source: Israel in the News