Choose your language:

The Expanding Shell Around V445 Puppis

Loading player...

Using the NACO adaptive optics instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope and its ability to obtain images as sharp as if taken from space, astronomers made the first time-lapse movie of a bipolar shell ejected by a “vampire star”, which underwent an outburst after gulping down part of its companion’s matter. This enabled astronomers to determine the distance and intrinsic brightness of the outburst object. It appears that this system is a prime candidate to be one of the long-sought progenitors of the exploding stars known as Type Ia supernovae, critical for the study of dark energy. The images of V445 Puppis cover a time span of two years. The images unambiguously show a bipolar shell, initially with a very narrow waist, with lobes on each side. Two knots are also seen at both the extreme ends of the shell, which appear to move at about 30 million kilometres per hour. The shell — unlike any previously observed for a nova — is itself moving at about 24 million kilometres per hour. A thick disc of dust, which must have been produced during the last outburst, obscures the two central stars.

Credit:

ESO/P.A. Woudt

Bookmark and Share

About the Video

Id:eso0943a
Release date:17 November 2009
Related releases:eso0943
Duration:11s

About the Object

Type:• X - Stars

HD

HD & Apple TV
459.2 KB

Large

Large QT
234.6 KB

Medium

Video Podcast
233.0 KB
Medium MPEG-1
3.9 MB
Medium Flash
511.5 KB

Small

Small Flash
281.6 KB
Small QT
81.1 KB

For Broadcasters

Broadcast SD
55.9 MB

Also see our