Zeta Ophiuchi, a well known star spotted in the equatorial constellation of Ophiuchus,which is 440 light-years away from our planet.
Zeta Ophiuchi, one of the well known and oldest stars in the sky and it is hurtling towards the Milky Way Galaxy. The star is 20 times hotter than the Sun and is located 440 light-years from Earth. It is spotted in the equatorial constellation of Ophiuchus and is on a crash course for our Milky Way Galaxy. And if it happened, it could lead to a lot of chaos and disruption. As shared by Mashable, it’s the third brightest star in the constellation and has a visual brightness of 2.57 and a velocity of around 30 to 40 kilometers per second.
Zeta Ophiuchi is a full-sequence star with hydrogen and helium in the core. It is an O-type star that glows 20 times more than the Sun and its intense heat makes it appear blue. As per the report, such stars have a brief life of 8-million-year sequence and are not very common in the Milky Way Galaxy.
Space.com reported that scientists and researchers suspect that Zeta Ophiuchi once belonged to a binary system. However, a supernova destroyed its companion stars more than a million years ago and the shockwave from the explosion pushed it into space, on its high-speed journey.
The infrared data observed by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, depicted that a massive shockwave swiped material from Zeta Ophiuchi and sent it to surrounding clouds of gas. An image of the star taken by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory in the X-ray spectrum, provided another piece of information that the shockwave heated the gas surrounding the star to tens of millions of degrees.
Considering its importance, scientists are trying to understand the atmosphere of this strange star and its surroundings. Also, a team of astronomers is currently testing 3D computer models of the shockwave that ripped Zeta Ophiuchi from its companion stars.