R Sculptoris - Slicing through a 3D ALMA view of the material around the red giant star R Sculptoris





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Published on Oct 10, 2012

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Observations using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have revealed an unexpected spiral structure in the material around the old star R Sculptoris. This spiral is probably caused by a hidden companion star orbiting the star. This new ALMA video shows a series of slices through the data, each taken at a slightly different frequency. These reveal the shell around the star, appearing as a circular ring, that seems to gets bigger and then smaller, as well as a clear spiral structure in the inner material that it best seen about half-way through the video sequence.

Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), L. Calçada


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