From Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC: “The strange case of HuBi1 – a stellar corpse turned upside down”

From Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

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Martin Guerrero

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC)
Dissemination and Communication Unit
Silbia Lopez de Lacalle

Material ejected in a thermal pulse late in A30, a planetary nebula with a born star (IAA-CSIC source and Chandra X-ray Center).

The physical structure of a planetary nebula produced by the death of a sun-like star is opposite to the usual in these objects. An investigation led by the IAA-CSIC concludes that his mother is a born star.

Planetary nebulae is one of the final stages in the life of stars low and intermediate mass as the sun. After exhausting the fuel, these stars shed their outer layers, forming an envelope of ionized gas around a star white dwarf type. In this envelope, the closer to the star, hotter, more ionization regions show that the most distant and cold. The exact opposite in HuBi1 , having a structure inverted ionization product of its peculiar evolution is a star reborn as completion of a study published today in the journal Nature Astronomy.

HuBi1 appears to be a typical double planetary nebula, with wrap outer diffuse gas and a bright central shell, but this research has revealed its peculiarities: the casing outside gas is recombined, unprecedented in a planetary nebula, and star Central has been turned off in just fifty years (it was ten thousand times brighter in 1971 than in 2017).

“The most surprising thing is the structure of the central bright shell ionization, which, colder than outer, inner region defies the most basic laws of thermodynamics and points to a peculiar episode in stellar evolution,” said Martin A. Guerrero , researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) who led the work.

This structure is indeed typical of shock waves produced by rapid expansion material through a surrounding medium which, together with the star does not emit sufficient ionizing photons, draws an unusual stage.

“In some tens of thousands of years planetary dispersed in the interstellar medium and the central star is becoming extinct. The central star HuBi1 , instead of gradually extinguished, revived by a late thermal pulse that fused helium surface “said Marcelo M. Miller Bertolami, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of La Plata (Argentina) participating in the study.

HuBi1 image obtained in the telescope NOT (ORM, La Palma, Spain) and variation of the brightness of the helium layer during the thermal pulse. Image red represents broadcast Halpha and green-blue broadcast [N II].

Nordic Optical telescope, at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain, Altitude 2,396 m (7,861 ft)

HuBi1 has been captured at the time in which its central star has become a poor hydrogen-type star [WC]. The origin of these stars, present in 15% of planetary nebulae, had not been identified so far. In this process of expulsion of large quantities of gas at a rate higher than that of the primitive nebula, and the interaction of both types of material generated shocks and the double structure seen in the nebula.

Researchers continue to study the evolution of HuBi1 , as it is one of the few examples of observed re – born stars. “Moreover, coming from a Sun – like parent star, the HuBi1 nebula is an example of a possible finale for our star , ” says Martin A. Guerrero (IAA-CSIC).

See the full article here .


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The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).
The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

Roque de los Muchachos Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in the municipality of Garafía on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, at an altitude of 2,396 m (7,861 ft)

These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreach activities.

The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.

Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC