Thursday, July 12, 2012
A "Carbon Star" found - quick tell Julia!
Quick tell Julia Gillard to tax this Death Star before it explodes and dissipates its poisonous CO2 throughout the Camelopardalis constellation. If this star is not taxed out of existence we run the risk in the future of carbon based life forms evolving in this area. Be warned, some carbon based life forms are particularly nasty, think The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal and you will be close.
U Camelopardalis, or U Cam for short, is a star nearing the end of its life; this image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the bright star surrounded by a tenuous shell of gas. As it begins to run low on fuel, it is becoming unstable. Every few thousand years, it coughs out a nearly spherical shell of gas as a layer of helium around its core begins to fuse. The gas ejected in the star’s latest eruption is clearly visible in this picture as a faint bubble of gas surrounding the star. U Cam is a carbon star — a rare type of star whose atmosphere contains more carbon than oxygen. Because of low surface gravity, as much as half of the total mass of a carbon star may be lost by way of powerful stellar winds. Located in the constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe), near the North Celestial Pole, U Cam itself is actually much smaller than it appears in Hubble’s picture — in fact, the star would easily fit within a single pixel at the center of the image.