Pride! UNAM scientists discover more than 4 thousand stars

We all look at the stars sometime either to think, reflect or simply to admire the landscape in a space that has been infinite up to now, which we cannot fully understand, but which gives us great moments.

Since ancient times, eThe man set out to admire the stars, he even baptized them and they even served to orient diverse cultures.

Mexican pride! UNAM scientists discover more than 4 thousand stars

This search for new stars continues to this day, now, about four thousand Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars, located in a pair of colliding galaxies, were found by a group of astronomers from the Institute of Radioastronomy and Astrophysics (IRyA) of the UNAM.

So is, a proudly Mexican team detailed that these stars live for a short time (two and four million years), since the fusion processes that occur in their nuclei are much more efficient than for low-mass stars.

“These stars are descendants of the most massive stars there can be. We are talking about initial masses of at least 25 times the mass of the Sun, but they can have up to 50 and 100 times the mass of the Sun. It is the last stage of the most massive stars, ”explained Mauricio Gómez González, head of the project.

The research of this specialized group suggests that before exploding as supernovae, The WRs throw their outermost layers into the interstellar medium, like an onion that is peeling and little by little its innermost and hottest layers are seen, heating up what is around.

How do you distinguish these stars from others?

These stars evolved and shed their outer layers of hydrogen, revealing other elements within.. When separating the light from these very hot stars into their colors or wavelengths to obtain a spectrum, it is observed that in some the hydrogen signature dominates and in others that of carbon.

“We find them in the range of the optical spectrum, in the visible, using spectra obtained from the VLT telescope, which is located in Chile,” he added. Mauricio Gomez.

Furthermore, in his IRyA group, lResearchers are investigating whether these types of stars have a very characteristic fingerprint, which are lines in your spectrum for helium, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen.

“We look for these fingerprints in the spectrum of a pair of merging galaxies called the Antennas. In 38 regions, which are complexes of star clusters, we located these fingerprints, which together gave us a total of four thousand stars, two thousand rich in nitrogen and two thousand in carbon ”, he specified.

It is a unique discovery to date

WR stars are hard to find because massive ones live for a short time (in astronomical terms), and they are the last stage of a massive star, so they make up ten percent of the four million years,

It would seem that in all space, cFour thousand stars would not be a significant number, but since their discovery in 1867, approximately 600 have been found.

The finding has been published in the international scientific journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and Divakara Mayya, from the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE); Jesús Toalá and Jane Arthur from IRyA; Javier Zaragoza-Cardiel, from the INAOE; and Martín Guerrero, from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, Spain

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