Mira: "Wonderful" Star Reveals its Hot Nature

Chandra_280_1024

chandra_280 April 28th, 2005

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/M. Karovska et al.; Illustration: CXC/M.Weiss

Chandra's image shows Mira A (right), a highly evolved red giant star, and Mira B (left), a white dwarf. To the right of the image is an artist's conception of this interacting star system. Mira A is losing gas rapidly from its upper atmosphere via a stellar wind. Mira B exerts a gravitational tug that creates a gaseous bridge between the two stars. Gas from the wind and bridge accumulates in an accretion disk around Mira B and collisions between rapidly moving particles in the disk produce X-rays. An unexpected X-ray outburst from Mira A was observed by Chandra. This outburst was likely an indirect consequence of the internal turmoil in Mira A, which is now approaching the stage where its nuclear fuel supply will be exhausted. It will eventually collapse to become a white dwarf, like Mira B.

Image Source: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/mira/

Curator: Chandra X-ray Observatory, Cambridge, MA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html

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Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Mira
Subject - Milky Way
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Red Giant
Star > Evolutionary Stage > White Dwarf
Star > Grouping > Binary

Distance

Universescale1
420 light years

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 2h 19m 20.7s
DEC = -2° 58’ 39.5”
Constellation
Cetus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_pseudocolor Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (X-ray) 826.7 pm
Spectrum_xray1
Arrow_top_pseudocolor
Chandra_280_1280
×
ID
280
Subject Category
B.3.1.4   B.3.1.7   B.3.6.1  
Subject Name
Mira
Credits
X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/M. Karovska et al.; Illustration: CXC/M.Weiss
Release Date
2005-04-28
Lightyears
420
Redshift
420
Reference Url
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/mira/
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Chandra
Instrument
ACIS
Color Assignment
Pseudocolor
Band
X-ray
Bandpass
X-ray
Central Wavelength
0.8267
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
4528
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
2000.0
Reference Value
34.83625, -2.977642
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Chandra X-ray Observatory
URL
http://chandra.harvard.edu
Name
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Email
cxcpub@cfa.harvard.edu
Telephone
617.496.7941
Address
60 Garden St.
City
Cambridge
State/Province
MA
Postal Code
02138
Country
USA
Rights
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html
Publisher
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Publisher ID
chandra
Resource ID
mira_comp.tif
Metadata Date
2012-07-25T11:39:01-04:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
420 light years