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An unusually "perfect" cosmic corkscrew surrounds the binary star system LL Pegasi in a new Hubble Space Telescope picture released this week.
Astronomers think the spiral's evenly spaced rings are being created because one of the stars in the binary pair is dying. Unlike more massive stars that end their lives in explosive supernovae, LL Pegasi is quietly shedding its outer layers of gas and dust to form what's called a planetary nebula.
The dying star itself is still hidden by a dusty cocoon. But it's ejecting material at about 31,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) an hour, the researchers calculate, forming a new ring in the spiral every 800 years.
"If a single star was sitting still, it would eject matter in all directions at roughly the same speed," said Raghvendra Sahai of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Instead the dying star is losing material as it orbits around the center of the binary system. As the star completes an orbit every 800 years, its lost matter winds around the system in a regular geometric pattern.
Originally posted by Slippery Jim
reply to post by Human_Alien
What a beautiful video! And Coldplay are one of my favourite bands.
Thanks for that.
Originally posted by hhcore
Very interesting indeed... I didn't figure the Norway spiral was a rocket, just a likely excuse.. call me a nutter.....
Originally posted by sciontist
Has anyone seen the movie 9? well there is a part near the end where the characters beam up into the sky and what happens reminds me of the norway spiral... so i looked to see if anyone has pointed this out and no one had and so i looked up the Movie 9 norway spiral search found nothing and the date of the movie made me say wow 9-9-09