View Full Version : Giant Star Generates a Massive Amount of X-Rays

2005-Sep-06, 08:46 PM
SUMMARY: The Chandra X-Ray observatory took this image of an unusual star called Beta Ceti. It's only three times more massive than our own Sun, but it radiates 2,000 times more X-ray power. Astronomers believe it's putting out so much X-ray radiation because it's at an advanced stage of stellar evolution called "core helium burning". For its first billion years, Beta Ceti was converting hydrogen to helium through fusion, but it ran out of hydrogen fuel and became a red giant star. Then it started to shrink again, and temperatures rose to 100 million degrees; hot enough that it could begin fusing helium atoms together to create carbon atoms.

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