Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Star That Sheds Like Our Cat!

By now, you've probably seen news reports about the star Mira (pronounced my-rah), in the constellation Cetus. It's barreling through the galactic medium at unusual speed and as a result is shedding a trail of starstuff. In the ultraviolet pictures from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, it looks like a comet:

The Star

Our cat

You might not have seen the cool animation NASA has online, though, along with explanation of how it is probably a bow-wave effect that's causing the tail.

There's supplemental material on another NASA page.

I can't believe how much great astronomy has been coming our way in the last year or two.

"It is with words as with sunbeams—the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn." —Robert Southey

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