Friday, the 22nd of May, 2015 will be another day that will be preserved and remembered in astronomic history as it is the day NASA discovered the first ‘NASTY’ star. The Wolf-Rayet celestial body was barely noticed by the administration’s Hubble Space Telescope as the star is hidden within an extremely large pancake-shaped gas mass.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is ‘responsible’ for numerous scientific discoveries taking place every day. The most recent noteworthy discovery that the administration has made with the help of their Hubble Space Telescope was the photo shooting of the first ‘NASTY’ star. The name of the celestial body comes from its catalogue initials, inspired by the names of its two founders, Jason Nassau and Charles Stephenson.
Nasty 1 was discovered decades ago, but the star was no longer visible on Hubble’s recent photo shootings. This happened because the Wolf-Rayet star is usually surrounded by a large mass of gas rendering it invisible even to Hubble’s advanced technology.
Scientists at NASA have explained that they have nicknamed the star ‘Nasty’ because it has a strange and unpredictable behavior. The large pancake-shaped gas mass that was noticed around the star might have originated from the formation of a second Wolf-Rayet star within NaSt1’s vicinity. Experts have reached the conclusion that the nasty body may now be ‘eating’ the newly-formed Wolf-Rayet sphere, thus causing more hydrogen to be released.
“We think there is a Wolf-Rayet star buried inside the nebula, and we think the nebula is being created by this mass-transfer process,” Jon Mauerhan of the University of California stated on NASA’s website. He further stated that the “sloppy stellar cannibalism” characterizing the nebulous body is the main reason why scientists have named it ‘Nasty’.
‘Nasty’ is said to be larger than the Sun and located at around 3,000 light years away from the Earth. Although the star has a rapid ageing process, it is now still young as it was estimated that it is only a few thousand years old.
Scientists were glad they could picture the celestial body as these phenomena are incredibly rare. The highly advanced Hubble Space Telescope, which has recently accomplished 25 years of space activity, had a hard time capturing the moment as the star is surrounded by very dense nebula.
There are very few examples of cannibalism between Wolf-Rayet stars as they occur very rarely and they last very little. The evolution of ‘Nasty 1’ will most likely be unpredictable, but experts at NASA will keep an eye on it hoping they could, thus, better understand the progress of Wolf-Rayet celestial bodies.
Image Source: Aol