See the Best-Ever Imagery of a Star Beyond the Sun (Photos, Video)

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Astronomers constructed this image of the red supergiant star Antares using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). This is the most detailed image ever captured of this object, or any other star apart from the sun.

Credit: K. Ohnaka/ESO

A new photo of the red “supergiant”Antares is the best ever captured of a star other than the sun, researchers said.

The image shows Antares’ tumultuous surface and reveals unexpected turbulence in its atmosphere, hinting at some mysterious process that is churning away violently inside the stellar mass, the scientists added.

Located nearly 620 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpio, Antares is a puffy stellar monster, with a mass and diameter 12 times and 700 times that of our sun, respectively. Antares is therefore one of the largest and brightest stars known in our galaxy. It is also nearing the end of its life; astronomers estimate that it will explode as a supernova in just a few thousand years. [Supernova Photos: Great Images of Star Explosions]

Now, using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in Chile, astronomers have resolved the turbulent structure in the star’s outermost layers, revealing, for the first time, detail on a distant star’s surface and, possibly, filling in the gaps of our knowledge as to how massive stars die.


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This article and images were originally posted on [] August 23, 2017 at 06:59AM

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