Gigantic Spiral in Space

The spiral is produced by a binary star about 3000 light years from earth and is 3 trillion kilometers in diameter.

[...] older stars run out of available hydrogen. Eventually, they fuse helium into carbon. When this happens the star swells up and becomes a red giant [...] Red giants tend to blow a lot of their outer layers into space in an expanding spherical wind [...]

This is what AFGL 3068 does. Read all the details about this spiral on Bad Astronomy.

Image: ESA/NASA & R. Sahai

tags: , binary star

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