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According to Phys.org (This article and its images were originally posted on Phys.org September 26, 2018 at 01:03PM.)
A snapshot from a simulation of the churning gas that blankets a star 80 times the sun’s mass. Intense light from the star’s core pushes against helium-rich pockets in the star’s exterior, launching material outward in spectacular geyser-like eruptions. The solid colors denote radiation intensity, with bluer colors representing regions of larger intensity. The translucent purplish colors represent the gas density, with lighter colors denoting denser regions. Credit: Joseph Insley/Argonne Leadership Computing Facility
Astrophysicists finally have an explanation for the violent mood swings of some of the biggest, brightest and rarest stars in the universe.
The stars, called luminous blue variables, periodically erupt in dazzling outbursts nicknamed “stellar geysers.” These powerful eruptions launch entire planets’ worth of material into space in a matter of days. The cause of this instability, however, has remained a mystery for decades.
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