About 440 light-years away from Earth is a hot star known as Zeta Ophiuchi, the only star in the constellation of Ophiuchus, with an apparent visual magnitude of 2.57. Researchers believe that Zeta Ophiuchi likely left its birthplace due to a powerful stellar explosion, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory tells the story of Zeta Ophiuchi, how it left its birthplace.
Zeta Ophiuchi is 20 times larger than the Sun, thanks to research suggesting that Zeta Ophiuchi was in close orbit with another star when it separated from its companion, a million years before Zeta Ophiuchi in a supernova explosion, The partner was destroyed. Released by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, new images of infrared data reveal a spectacular shock wave (red and green) created by a burst of matter flying away from the surface of the star and gas in its path.
Data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory show the X-ray emission (blue) around the star as a bubble formed by gas, heated to millions of degrees by the impact of the shock wave.
A team of astronomers led by Samuel Green of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland has built the first detailed computer model of a shock wave that can interpret data obtained at a variety of wavelengths, including optical, infrared and radio observations. Created by astronomers, three of the computer models predict a faint X-ray emission from one of the models, the other two computer models predict the intensification of the X-ray emission near the shock wave.