Scientists Witness a Star Erupt for the First Time

Scientists Witness a Star Erupt for the First Time

A massive red star known as Betelgeuse has been seen to explode by Maui, Hawaii astronomers. They used a dominant telescope known as the Hubble Space Telescope and continued looking through it for 130 days until the explosion. 

 

The explosion occurred deep in space, in an area called NGC 5731. Before the explosion, the star radiated heat, then collapsed.”We actually saw the star violently erupt,” Wynn Jacobson-Galán, the leader of the research and an astronomer at the University of Berkley, stated. Several of its natural elements remained, including dust, gas and iron. 

 

The astronomers employed specialized imaging equipment at the W.M. Keck Observatory, on top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Even though the astronomers could not get a close-up picture and live-action of the eruption, they could create an animation of the explosion according to Mashable.com.

In the video, they show how the star goes through a pre-eruption by emitting bursts of heat and radiation, then showing how the star collapses in a giant flash then creating a supernova, and at the end of the video, it shows the aftermath of the star, resulting in clouds of dust, gas and elements drifting along into space.  

 

A massive collapse of stars causes supernovae; the aftermath of the stars has very vital elements in them. In the stars, there is iron, silver, gold, uranium, and lead according to Ico.global. “Without supernovae, life would not be possible,” explains NASA. NASA then states how important these explosions are to our daily life. They also state, “Our blood has iron in the hemoglobin which is vital to our ability to breath. We need oxygen in our atmosphere to breathe. Nitrogen enriches our planet’s soil. Earth itself would be a very different place without the elements created in stars and supernova explosions.”

 

Pre-explosion astronomers and scientists thought the explosions were quick and quiet, but this explosion showed them that the bursts were loud, vibrant, and emit heat.

 

“It’s like watching a ticking time bomb,” Raffaella Margutti, an astrophysicist at Northwestern University, said in a statement. Scientists and astronomers will continue to view how stars behave before they go supernova according to mashable.com.