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Uma Estrela com Braços Espirais / A Star with Spiral Arms

Oct 31, 2011: For more than four hundred years, astronomers have used telescopes to study the great variety of stars in our galaxy. Millions of distant suns have been catalogued. There are dwarf stars, giant stars, dead stars, exploding stars, binary stars; by now, you might suppose that every kind of star in the Milky Way had been seen.

That’s why a recent discovery is so surprising.  Researchers using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii have found a star with spiral arms.

A Star with Spiral Arms (spiral splash, 558px)

Two spiral arms emerge from the gas-rich disk around SAO 206462, a young star in the constellation Lupus. This image, acquired by the Subaru Telescope and its HiCIAO instrument, is the first to show spiral arms in a circumstellar disk. The disk itself is some 14 billion miles across, or about twice the size of Pluto’s orbit in our own solar system. (Credit: NAOJ/Subaru) [larger image]
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