It may resemble a delicate flower, but this new ALMA image shows something far less serene: stellar winds raging up to a million times stronger than those from our own Sun.
They are blasting from red giant star R Aquilae, one of several red giants whose winds have been shown to blow out not spherically as expected, but in irregular shapes. One theory is that the patterns indicate the influence of another star or giant planet nearby.
This image was captured as part of the ATOMIUM project in collaboration with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile.
Astronomers are mapping the stellar winds of about a dozen red giant stars to learn more about these processes.
Observatory Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
Release date 21 September 2020
Credit ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Decin et al.