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The Dying Red Giant Star R Sculptoris

13 February, 2017 / Read time: 1 minute

In this video the astronomer of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO),Jeff Magnum, reports the results of an observation made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). It is a revolutionary discovery around the old star R Sculptoris, located approximately 1550 light-years away in the constellation Sculptor.

The video shows the mapped structure, which has a peculiar spiral shape and a ring surrounding this red giant. In addition, we can see an illustrative animation that allows us to understand how this spiral and the ring have been expanding over time. Further analysis showed that this is probably due to the presence of a second star orbiting R Sculptoris.

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Maercker et al./L. Calçada (ESO); Nature/M. Maercker et al./S. Mohamed/L. Calçada; A. Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF); Music: Mark Mercury, Geodesium