All About Space

The latest look at Antares

ALMA and the VLA combined their powers to break down the atmospheri­c layers of a star over 550 light years away

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Photospher­e

This is commonly referred to as the star’s ‘surface’. Sunspots and faculae usually occur on the photospher­e. In Antares’ case its face is burning at roughly 3,400 degrees Celsius (6,200 degrees Fahrenheit).

Lower chromosphe­re

This layer was observed in the shortest wavelength ALMA has to offer. The temperatur­e of the gas in this region is approximat­ely 2,400 degrees Celsius (4,400 degrees Fahrenheit).

Upper chromosphe­re

The space between the upper and lower chromosphe­re would be the equivalent of Jupiter’s orbit around the Sun. The temperatur­e peaks in this region at about 3,500 degrees Celsius (6,400 degrees Fahrenheit).

The wind accelerati­on zone

The VLA was able to study this region in longer wavelength­s, and the results show that this region is roughly 2,600 degrees Celsius (4,700 degrees Fahrenheit). It is unknown what accelerate­s the stellar wind.

Wind

Stellar wind, illuminate­d in this research by Antares B, appears relatively cool at less than 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,700 degrees Fahrenheit). This wind carries heavy elements into the universe.

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