Image Credit: ESO/L.Calçada

Making a 3D map of our galaxy would be easier if some stars were long enough for us to calculate distances. However, red supergiants are the cool kids in the block when pinching their specific areas. That’s because they seem to be dancing, making it difficult to pinpoint their location in space. That quake is a factor, not a distraction, of these giant old stars, and scientists want to understand why.

So, as with other galaxies, astronomers have turned to computer models to determine why. In addition, they used Gaia mission position ratings to find a handle on why red supergiants appear to be dancing.

Understanding red supergiants

The number of red supergiants has several common characteristics. These stars are at least eight times as large as the Sun — enormous. Generally at least 700 to 1,000 times the size of the Sun. At 3500 K, it is much more relaxed than our ~ 6000 K star, although measuring those temperatures is insidious. They are much lighter in infrared light but darker than other stars. They also vary in their brightness, which may (for some) be related to that dance movement—more on that in a moment.

If the Sun were a red supergiant, the Earth would not exist, and that is because the starry heavens would reach Mars and swallow up our planet. The best-known examples of these behemoths are Betelgeuse and Antares. Red supergiants are present throughout the galaxy. You can see several people at night in a nearby group called Chi Persei, and it is part of a well-known double collection.

The structure of red supergiants

Therefore, we have this number of stars that do not behave as expected and do not borrow in simple terms. Why is that? They stretch so much that they end up with a meager gravitational force. As a result, their convective cells (heat-carrying structures from the inside to the top) become much more significant. One cell covers about 20-30% of the star’s radius. That actually “interrupts” the starlight.

Convection removes heat from the inside out and helps the star drain important in the immediate area. Also, we are not talking about small gas and plasma poofs. The red supergiant can send a billion times more weight to the atmosphere than does the Sun. All this makes the star appear frothy, and his face looks crazy, making the star appear to be dancing in the sky.

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.


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