So This Is How It Ends.

Not my blog, the Sun of course.

The discovery of a jet of high-energy particles emanating from a dying star by scientists from Sweden, Germany and Australia may explain what happens when stars die.

At the end, stars like the sun transform into clouds of gas called planetary nebulae. But how these nebulae get their strange shapes has been a mystery to astronomers.  But now they believe that high-speed, magnetic jets from the dying star is the cause.

Using CSIRO, an array of six 22-metre radio telescopes in New South Wales, Australia, the scientists studied a star at the end of its life and about to become a planetary nebula.

“The radio signal from the jet varies in a way that means that it may only last a few decades. Over the course of just a few hundred years the jet can determine how the nebula will look when it finally gets lit up by the star,” says team member Jessica Chapman, astronomer at CSIRO in Sydney, Australia.

The jet of particles emanating from the dying star are traveling close to the speed of light and the scientists think this is how planetary nebula get their symmetrical shapes.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

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