Not every day a Bangladeshi makes it to the international headlines with a stunning achievement.
Astrophysicist Dr Rubab Khan has made a ground breaking discovery in identifying and locating five super stars that match the size and mass of Eta Carinae, a massive star that is 5 million times brighter than our Sun and located 10,000 light-years from Earth. Eta Carinae is significant in the galaxy due to its massive explosion observed in the mid-19th century that released 10 times mass of our Sun into the space.
Just a week earlier, a similar phenomenon has been discovered by Dr Rubab and his team in our neighboring galaxies, 15-26 million light years away, where five such super stars have been spotted. The scientists are calling these Eta Carinae lookalikes ‘Eta Twins’.
Dr Rubab, Prof. Stanek and their colleagues have developed a type of optical and infrared fingerprint that led to this discovery. In this regard, Dr. Rubab states that, “With NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope we see a steady increase in brightness starting at around 3 microns and peaking between 8 and 24 microns. By comparing this emission to the dimming we see in Hubble’s optical images, we could determine how much dust was present and compare it to the amount we see around Eta Carinae”.
Scientists are now thrilled to explore the opportunities that can lead to discovering secrets of life and its formation as “massive stars are so crucial in nature; these stars make everything that make our world, including ourselves”, adds Dr Rubab.
The findings of the abovementioned were presented in his paper “Discovery of Five Candidate Analogs for ηCarinae in Nearby Galaxies” during the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society, which was held between January 4-8, 2016.
Video Courtesy: Inside Science