Department of Physics and Astronomy

New ALMA image shows close interaction between Mira and its companion

2014-11-25

Studying red giant stars tells astronomers about the future of the Sun and about how previous generations of stars spread the elements needed for life across the Universe. One of the most famous red giants in the sky is called Mira and lies about 400 light-years from Earth. Sofia Ramstedt is leading an international project to study binary red giant stars with ALMA and Mira is part of that study. The new high-resolution images reveal the close interaction between Mira and its companion. Despite their rather large separation, the two stars have had a strong effect on one another and the new images demonstrate how double stars can influence their environments and leave clues for what will be their future fate.

The image has been selected as ESO’s picture of the week:
http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1447a/
For more details in Swedish:
http://www.uu.se/forskning/forskningsnytt/artikel/?id=3975&area=5,10,16&...
The results are presented in this paper:
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014A%26A...570L..14R
http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.1529

Sofia works as a researcher at the Division of Astronomy and Space Physics.

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