Star Collision

I’ve recently read an article titled “Violent Star Collision Triggers Cosmic Firework Display” on Space.com written by Samantha Mathewson. This article is about how a collision within the nebula of the star nursery within the constellation of Orion. Scientists estimate that this cosmic collision occurred roughly 500 years ago, in which, two stars were caught between two gravitational pulls creating an explosion summed up to be an explosion 10 times greater energy force than our sun. Scientists were able to calculate this explosion because of basic knowledge that we learned in our recent lectures explaining the studies of distance, size, and mass of a star. Which this article relates to objective 11 in our class.

First these scientists were able to figure this out by using three different methods. first parsecs were used to determine the distance of the star, in which, parallax angles were measured to exactly one arcsecond. This method was repeated twice to determine the distance from earth and then from the distance of one star to another. In class, we learned that holding your palm upward, then figuratively slicing our fingers into 60 different parts and then divided once again into 60 different parts will give you one arcsecond. For all purpose measures, astronomers will use a 90 degree angle between the earth and the sun as its constant variable, then they are able to figure out the angle caused by the line drawn from earth to the star.

Secondly, the next method used by scientists is used to determine the size of the star which can be broken down into the equation L=4πR^2oT^4. In this equation, L is represented by luminosity, R is represented by radius, T is the surface temperature of the star, pie is 3.141, and O is 5.671 x 10^-8 watt/M^2 K^4 which can be plugged in and calculated into the star’s radius. The energy flux permitted can be submitted into an equation of either oT^4 or L divided by 4πR^2.

Lastly, Kepler’s 3rd law applies to this if only another celestial body is orbiting the other celestial body. The law claims that the square of planets is proportional to the cube of length of the orbit’s semi-major axis (T^2/a^3). The information provided can set up our equation of MP^2=a^3, in which, P is represented by the length of orbit, A is represented in astronomical units, and M is the mass of the object.

This article gives us a clear indication that these measures taken to determine distance and size of stars was used in this theory to either prove or conclude a hypothesis. This objective enabled me to learn about the massive relative size on these celestial bodies. I also learned the steps that need to be taken to figure out celestial bodies orbiting around each other. The article however proved my idea that these basic measurements are needed to figure out some of the most challenging astronomical problems. Overall, I fairly enjoyed this objective because it was simple understandings that can lead to possible massive discoverments.

 

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