WISE Spots Runaway Star

25 February 2011
Posted by Chris Smith.

NASA's WISE mission, or Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, has spotted the bow shock of a runaway star.  Zeta Ophiuchi -- Runaway Star Plowing Through Space DustBow shocks like this are formed as a star hurtles through space at high speed, pushing gas and dust out of it's way and heating it in the process.  If heated enough, the gas starts to glow in infra-red, and can be seen by our instruments.

Speeding runaway stars are interesting objects on their own account, but can also help us to learn more about their parent galaxies or clusters...

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