In biology, “symbiosis” refers to two organisms that live close to and interact with one another. There happens to also be a class of stars that co-exist in a similar way. Data from our Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, is helping us understand how volatile this close stellar relationship can be.
Located at a distance of about 710 light years from Earth, R Aquarii (R Aqr, for short) is one of the best known of the symbiotic stars. Changes in its brightness were first noticed with the naked eye almost a thousand years ago. Since then, astronomers have studied this object and determined that R Aqr is not one star, but two: a small, dense white dwarf and a cool red, giant star.
Since shortly after Chandra launched in 1999, astronomers began using the X-ray telescope to monitor the behavior of R Aqr, giving them a better understanding in more recent years. Chandra data reveal a jet of X-ray emission that extends to the upper left. The X-rays have likely been generated by shock waves, similar to sonic booms around supersonic planes, caused by the jet striking surrounding material.
Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. Montez et al.; Optical: Adam Block/Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter/U. Arizona
Today’s #WebbFact : #Webb will gaze back more than 13.5 billion years to see the first stars and galaxies. It will witness the first observable light in the universe, helping us better understand how stars and galaxies form and evolve. Read more on our site: https://go.nasa.gov/2sE6C9t .
The image, #Hubble 's Ultra Deep Field, shows a look back of ~13 billion years. The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) has seen farther than both Webb and Hubble, observing the heat signature left over from the Big Bang about 380,000 years after it occurred.
Image: The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is a snapshot of about 10,000 galaxies in a tiny patch of sky, taken by @NASAHubble. Credit: #NASA , ESA, and S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team .
Thanks to everyone who helped me hit 100 in Planetary science accessory sales on my etsy shop!!! This is me rewarding myself for soldiering through keyword update tedium by taking the gondola that didn't mind The fact I had no intention of snowboarding or skiing my way down. Okay I would have taken the gondola even without the etsy keyword updates its so cool flying up a mountain's snow face past glittery white shrubs and pine trees; bunny tracks, deer tracks. Not as cool as fLying past Jupiter's Europa moon which the Europa clipper will do on the mid 2020s though, which is why I make planetary science accessories. Ditto Saturn's Enceladus and Titan moons. Or the Cassini spacecraft which caught great photos of the Saturn and it's moons before smashing into Saturn after two decades since all good things must come to an end. Speaking of which: FREE shipping runs through the 29th btw so if you're overseas don't miss the changes to save on something that would otherwise be quite costly. Code "CyberSpace29." Link in bio takes you directly to my shop. #womeninscience#saturn#spacejewelry#scienceart#europa#supporthandmade#snow#gondola#cybermonday#cybersunday#inspiration#inspiring#moongram#spacegram#instaspace