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Cosmos: Astronomers discover eight super-bright stars

Universe

With the help of a huge telescope in South Africa, an international research team has discovered eight of the hottest stars in the universe. The surface temperature of each celestial body is more than 100,000 degrees. For comparison: on the surface of the Sun “only” reached about 5800 degrees.

The team led Simon Jeffery From Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland, which is also Klaus Werner from the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Tübingen examined data from so-called sub-dwarfs. This is what stars that evolve into white dwarfs are called. White dwarfs are about the size of Earth, but they are a million times larger. They are the most dense stars in existence from normal matter,” explained Werner.

Tom Watts (AOP), STScI/NASA, Dark Energy Survey

An image from a sky survey focused on the newly discovered star SALT J203959.5-034117. Its blue color comes from its surface temperature of more than 100,000 degrees. The extended region shows the planetary nebula (PN G0425-25.8 = JeWeKi 1) shown at a very long exposure in green light.

Both sub-dwarfs and white dwarfs can have high surface temperatures. “Of the eight superhot stars we discovered, the hottest was a white dwarf with a surface temperature of 180,000 degrees.”

A hundred times as bright as the sun

According to astrophysicist Werner, each star shines more than a hundred times as bright as the Sun. However, they are all between 1,500 and 22,000 light-years from Earth, while the Sun is just over eight light-minutes away. So you can’t see hot, bright dwarfs with the naked eye from Earth. A light year is the distance that light travels in a year.

Despite the distance, the discovery is important to experts: “The results could also shed new light on the formation of our galaxy,” Werner explained. the results Published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the measurements were taken using the South African Large Telescope (SALT), located about 400 kilometers northeast of Cape Town.

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