Zoom-in onto T Leporis
This small sequence zooms-in onto the Mira-like star T Leporis, which was imaged with great detail, by ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer. T Leporis, in the constellation of Lepus (the Hare), is located 500 light-years away. Mira stars are among the biggest factories of molecules and dust in the Universe, and T Leporis is no exception. It pulsates with a period of 380 days and loses the equivalent of the Earth’s mass every year. Since the molecules and dust are formed in the layers of atmosphere surrounding the central star, astronomers would like to be able to see these layers. But this is no easy task, given that the stars themselves are so far away – despite their huge intrinsic size, their apparent radius on the sky can be just half a millionth that of the Sun. The full resolving power of the VLTI is thereby required.
Note that the images are drawn to scale.
ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2 and A. Fujii
|Útgáfudagur:||18. febrúar 2009|
|Frame rate:||30 fps|