A star from the constellation of Ophiuchus has been spotted, whizzing through space at breakneck speeds. Read on.
In the image above, the bright star in the center of the shot is Zeta Ophiuchi, from the constellation of Ophiuchus; the same constellation which received a fair bit of media attention recently.
Zeta Ophiuchi is interesting mainly because it is not everyday that runaway stars go for spin around space, hurtling at 87,000 kilometers per hour. This breakneck speed is likely the result of it being propelled by the explosion of a larger binary partner.
This captivating image was captured by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the reddish arc folding around the star is a bow shock- strong stellar winds from Zeta Ophiuchi colliding with the interstellar medium, causing heating and hence infrared light detectable by WISE.