Observation from SPHERE for R Aquarius demonstrates a double star, where a white dwarf separates material from the World variable. Also visible are the streams of material released by the star pair.
The SPHERE device on the Very Large Telescope received a snapshot of a white dwarf feeding on the material of the red giant - the variable of the World. Most of the stars exist in the form of binary systems, spending eternity in rotation around a common center of gravity. However, it was possible to capture something ominous and cruel on a specific picture.
Astronomers followed the couple for many years, noting a peculiar history of relationships. The red giant is the variable of the World, approaching the end of life and pulsing 1000 times brighter than the Sun. With each pulsation, the gas envelope of the star expands, and the white dwarf receives a new portion of power.
The dual system is called the R Aquarius, and it lives in the same constellation at a distance of 650 light years from Earth. Even without a tricky neighbor, the variable of the World is a tragic action. The star literally dies, throwing a portion of the outer layers into interstellar space with each pulse. Hydrogen is lost in the core, completing the melting process. Therefore, the fusion has passed into the shell of hydrogen around the nucleus. If the World variable existed alone, the loss of the outer layers would have led to the creation of a planetary nebula, and the star itself would become a white dwarf. However, a nearby star rewrites the script.
R Aquarius is perceived as a symbiotic star system. The white dwarf picks material from the red giant, following the cycle in the photo of Hubble.
The satellite of the variable world is a white dwarf. It is smaller, denser and much hotter than a star. In addition, it is fed by the material of the red giant, acting by gravity. Then the white dwarf throws jets of material into space.
But this is not the end of strangeness. The white dwarf has its own fireworks. When he selects too much material, he leads to pushing more jets into space, creating vivid flash events. In the picture you can see the remains of past events in the nebula.
The SPHERE device is used to hunt for exoplanets. However, he is able to keep track of amazing events, like the R Aquarius. In addition, the Hubble Space Telescope was used to observe the white dwarf.
The photo shows part of the observation of the Hubble telescope in a wide field, where complex details were visualized with SPHERE on the Very Large Telescope.