Local Newspaper Report

written by Mike Lewis

General Information

These reports appear in the last Thursday of the month (before our monthly meeting held on the first Thursday of the month) editions of the 'Clacton and Frinton Gazette' and the 'Harwich and Manningtree Standard' in their 'Neighbourhood News' sections

The Most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy

by Mike Haynes

7th September 2017

Stars are formed when large gas clouds around one light year across start to rotate and most of the material is funnelled into the centre under force of gravity and starts to heat up. When the temperature reaches 10,000,000 degrees K fusion starts and the star is kept in balance when gravity is matched by radiaition pressure. Stars range in size from around 1/12th of the Sun's mass to around 150 to 200 Sun masseses and the more massive the star the shorter the life.

Eta Carinae is an enigmatic star system containing at least two stars with a combined luminosity of around a million times that of the Sun and around 200 solar masses, a surface temperature of 20,000K, is about 7,500 light years distant andi is one of only a handful of similar Stars Systems known to date.

In 1843 the Star brightened to become the second brightest in the sky and then faded and again in 1892 it reached magnitude 6 and late from 1940 to 2014 it reached magnitude 4.5. The star is expected eventually to become a super nova sometime in the near astronomical future and is expected to be the brightest super nova ever seen.