Mayhem Wreaked By A Speeding Star Imaged

Mayhem Wreaked By A Speeding Star Imaged

Kappa Cassiopeiae shockwave.jpg

This star is special. It can be seen with the naked eye in Cassiopeia and is known as Kappa Cassiopeiae. The star is special because it is travelling at breakneck speed. The star shoots through the Milky Way at a speed of 2.5 million mph. The effect this has on the surrounding interstellar gas can be seen in this picture released by NASA’ Spitzer Space Telescope. The red gas cloud is a bow shockwave 4 light years ahead of the star. This is about the distance from us to our nearest star. Our Sun creates a shockwave too but it is nearly impossible to see.

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Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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