Scientists spot strange lasers coming towards Earth from space ant nebula

Posted on Friday, 18th May 2018 @ 01:33 AM by Text Size A | A | A

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The stunning process of dying stars might be even more dramatic than it first appeared

NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Scientists have spotted two strange lasers coming out of the huge ant nebula.

The mysterious blasts appear to suggest that the cluster is hiding a double star system at its heart.

The rare blast is usually associated with the death of a star, and was seen by the European Space Agency’s Herschel space observatory.

When middleweight stars like our own Sun get approach their death, they turn into dense, white dwarf stars. As they do, they shed their outer layers of gas and dust into space, creating a kaleidoscope effect that is visible across the universe.

And now scientists have found that process is even more dramatic than it first appears. At the same time, stars throw out powerful lasers, according to the new observations.

In the case of the space ant, it is still not clear where that laser is coming from. But it appears to be a twin star system that is dying, right in the middle of the spectacular nebula, which is also known as Menzel 3 – after its creator, who by coincidence was one of the first to suggest that lasers could emerge in such a way.

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