ESA’s XMM-Newton has seen vast clouds of superheated gas, whirling around miniature stars and escaping from being devoured by the stars’ enormous gravitational fields - giving a new insight into the eating habits of the galaxy’s ‘cannibal’ stars.
A hot gas cloud whirling around a miniature cannibal star
The clouds of gas range in size from a few hundred thousand kilometres to a few million kilometres, ten to one hundred times larger than the Earth. They are composed of iron vapour and other chemicals at temperatures of many millions of degrees.
"This gas is extremely hot, much hotter than the outer atmosphere of the Sun," said Maria Díaz Trigo of ESA’s European Science and Technology Research Centre (ESTEC), who led the research.
Arvind Parmar | alfa
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