The bow shock of Kappa Cassiopeiae, a massive, hot supergiant

Feb 21, 2014 by Whitney Clavin
The red arc in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is a giant shock wave, created by a speeding star known as Kappa Cassiopeiae. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(Phys.org) —Roguish runaway stars can have a big impact on their surroundings as they plunge through the Milky Way galaxy. Their high-speed encounters shock the galaxy, creating arcs, as seen in this newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

In this case, the speedster star is known as Kappa Cassiopeiae, or HD 2905 to astronomers. It is a massive, hot supergiant moving at around 2.5 million mph relative to its neighbors (1,100 kilometers per second). But what really makes the star stand out in this image is the surrounding, streaky red glow of material in its path. Such structures are called bow shocks, and they can often be seen in front of the fastest, most massive in the galaxy.

Bow shocks form where the magnetic fields and wind of particles flowing off a star collide with the diffuse, and usually invisible, gas and dust that fill the space between stars. How these shocks light up tells astronomers about the conditions around the star and in space. Slow-moving stars like our sun have bow shocks that are nearly invisible at all wavelengths of light, but fast stars like Kappa Cassiopeiae create that can be seen by Spitzer's infrared detectors.

Incredibly, this shock is created about 4 light-years ahead of Kappa Cassiopeiae, showing what a sizable impact this star has on its surroundings. (This is about the same distance that we are from Proxima Centauri, the nearest star beyond the sun.)

The Kappa Cassiopeiae bow shock shows up as a vividly red color. The faint green features in this image result from carbon molecules, called , in dust clouds along the line of sight that are illuminated by starlight.

Delicate red filaments run through this infrared nebula, crossing the bow shock. Some astronomers have suggested these filaments may be tracing out features of the that runs throughout our galaxy. Since magnetic fields are completely invisible themselves, we rely on chance encounters like this to reveal a little of their structure as they interact with the surrounding dust and gas.

Kappa Cassiopeiae is visible to the naked eye in the Cassiopeia constellation (but its only shows up in infrared light.)

For this Spitzer image, infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 and 4.5 microns is rendered in blue, 8.0 microns in green, and 24 microns in red.

Explore further: Image: A storm of stars in the Trifid nebula

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cantdrive85
1 / 5 (9) Feb 21, 2014
Some astronomers have suggested these filaments may be tracing out features of the magnetic field that runs throughout our galaxy.

Some astronomers are so damn ignorant of plasma behavior and magnetism they think such nonsense as above...

"Magnetism is a very important topic in astrophysics (despite some pseudo-scientists lying and saying this force is ignored {strawman}), but it's not well-understood. It's fiendishly complex, so much so that it's a joke in stronomy." Phil Plait really 'Bad Astronomer'
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (6) Feb 21, 2014
Some astronomers are so damn ignorant of plasma behavior and magnetism they think such nonsense as above...

@cd
conjecture based upon stupidity and ignoring factual data that you have already read
SEE:

http://iopscience...1_41.pdf

in which you have ALREADY commented on... which proves that your statement is not only NOT FACTUAL
BUT IS INTENTIONALLY WRONG

see also:
http://phys.org/n...end.html

http://phys.org/n...ggs.html

and most any other link you have posed on with regard to astrophysics since the Higgs article came out
Tim Thompson
5 / 5 (8) Feb 21, 2014
Some astronomers have suggested these filaments may be tracing out features of the magnetic field that runs throughout our galaxy.

Some astronomers are so damn ignorant of plasma behavior and magnetism they think such nonsense as above...


Why is it nonsense?
yyz
5 / 5 (5) Feb 22, 2014
"Some astronomers have suggested these filaments may be tracing out features of the magnetic field that runs throughout our galaxy.

Some astronomers are so damn ignorant of plasma behavior and magnetism they think such nonsense as above..."

You appear as ignorant of EU/PC as you do astrophysics. One of your own, astronomer and EU advocate Per Carlqvist, studies how the galaxy's magnetic field interacts with filaments in nebulae: http://articles.a...32L...5C

He's one of the very few PC adherents who actually carries out and publishes astronomical observations in the study of PC phenomena. Are you saying Carlqvist is ignorant of plasma behavior and magnetism? Good to know.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (5) Feb 22, 2014
There is no mention of the "galaxy's" magnetic field interacting, just the required electric currents. From conclusion of said paper;
"Generalizing the above, we propose that magnetic fields, with associated electric currents, may have decisive influence on the structure and evolution of interstellar molecular clouds."
Carlqvist acknowledges the required electric currents, contrary to astrophysicists and their "frozen-in" view...

Being that in situ measurements by Voyager I has totally falsified the "standard" model of stellar magnetic fields any such claims made by said theorists are tenuous at best.
http://www.youtub...aUUc#t=0

The "bow shock" is a simplistic mechanical interaction of fluids, being this is plasma the likelihood is that "bow shock" is in fact an electric double layer (DL) and the red filaments are the electric currents flowing through said DL.
yyz
5 / 5 (4) Feb 22, 2014
"There is no mention of the "galaxy's" magnetic field interacting"

Where do you think the MW galaxy's magnetic field manifests itself, the Virgo Cluster? Do you mean to say the proposed magnetic field of that filament is completely isolated from the MW magnetic field?

What to make of Carlqvist's studies of "magnetic filaments" (Carlqvist's term) in other galaxies:

http://arxiv.org/...3628.pdf

http://arxiv.org/...5818.pdf

Are these filaments' proposed magnetic fields also isolated from the magnetic fields of their host galaxies? Carlqvist clearly doesn't think so.

You contend that "filaments may be tracing out features of the magnetic field that runs throughout our galaxy" is nonsense. Carlqvist clearly does not. On this point one of you is wrong.
yyz
5 / 5 (4) Feb 22, 2014
BTW, Carlqvist repeatedly refers to these "magnetic filaments" as gas or components of molecular clouds and goes on to describe the physical parameters of this gas. Previously you have stated that any scientist using these terms to describe astrophysical plasmas is talking out his ass. Again, nice to know we can safely ignore these papers by Carlqvist.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Feb 22, 2014
@cd85 says:
Being that in situ measurements by Voyager I has totally falsified the "standard" model of stellar magnetic fields any such claims made by said theorists are tenuous at best.
http://www.youtub...aUUc#t=0

personal conjecture supported by PSEUDOSCIENCE is like used toilet paper...
The "bow shock" is a simplistic mechanical interaction of fluids

references? proof? Links?
Use reputable links, not PSEUDOSCIENCE
being this is plasma the likelihood is that "bow shock" is in fact an electric double layer (DL) and the red filaments are the electric currents flowing through said DL.

references? Proof? Links?
IF your EU had any credibility to it you could support it with reputable links
GIVEN that you can only use PSEUDOSCIENCE links
your statements are invalid and nothing more than the ramblings of a PSEUDOSCIENCE CRACKPOT

had you taken ANY time to study ANY links/information Mr. Thompson provided, you would have learned that EU is PSEUDOSCIENCE
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Feb 22, 2014
Some astronomers have suggested these filaments may be tracing out features of the magnetic field that runs throughout our galaxy.

Some astronomers are so damn ignorant of plasma behavior and magnetism they think such nonsense as above...


Why is it nonsense?

@cantdrive
why dont you explain to Mr. Thompson WHY it is nonsense? Please... regale us with your knowledge!
I GOTTA see this!
dont forget to use studies/links to reputable sites and leave the pseudoscience (used toilet paper) at home!

cantdrive85
1 / 5 (5) Feb 22, 2014
BTW, Carlqvist repeatedly refers to these "magnetic filaments" as gas or components of molecular clouds and goes on to describe the physical parameters of this gas. Previously you have stated that any scientist using these terms to describe astrophysical plasmas is talking out his ass. Again, nice to know we can safely ignore these papers by Carlqvist.

Carlqvist understands his "peers" and their lingo. Even Thompson acknowledges they have their own "language" and "history".
Tim Thompson
5 / 5 (5) Feb 25, 2014
Being that in situ measurements by Voyager I has totally falsified the "standard" model of stellar magnetic fields any such claims made by said theorists are tenuous at best.
http://www.youtub...aUUc#t=0

Hogwash. Most of what Thornhill says on this video is physically impossible, especially his description of planetary nebula M2-9 as a plasma pinch caused by a current running through it. There is no heliacal magnetic field, so there can't be a pinch. Furthermore, the nebula is about 0.7 light years across; the electric current required to pinch something that large is beyond physical explanation, and would require an energy source that remains more mysterious than any mystery of main stream science. Thornhill's explanation of the difference between expectation and Voyager observations is also factually incorrect. The video is worthless propaganda, not science.
Tim Thompson
5 / 5 (5) Feb 25, 2014
The "bow shock" is a simplistic mechanical interaction of fluids, being this is plasma the likelihood is that "bow shock" is in fact an electric double layer (DL) and the red filaments are the electric currents flowing through said DL.

Now, here we have some real nonsense. You seriously expect anyone to believe that astrophysicists are so mind-numbingly stupid that they can't tell the difference between a shock wave and double layer? I hate to break the bad news, but plasma shock waves & bow shocks are observed in laboratory plasmas, and since you are such a big fan of applying laboratory plasma physics to astrophysical phenomena (which is in fact a pretty good idea and very common in the astrophysics profession), I expect you will now change your story and admit that bow shocks are actually bow shocks?
GSwift7
5 / 5 (4) Feb 25, 2014
Again, nice to know we can safely ignore these papers by Carlqvist.


It sure would be confounding if your only supporters were a bunch of loons that went around the internet spouting nonsense that made you look bad. I sure wouldn't want cantdrive or the hannes alfven account on my side in any debate.

Being that in situ measurements by Voyager I has totally falsified the "standard" model of stellar magnetic fields


Good lord dude, where did you get that gem of wisdom from? Please tell me which paper you misunderstood, so I can try to explain it to you in terms you might understand.

contrary to astrophysicists and their "frozen-in" view


Speaking of misunderstanding terms and such; I know I've explained your misconceptions regarding field lines and the term 'frozen-in' before. Your complaints are like saying that weather forcasters are idiots because they treat the jet stream like a river in the sky.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (5) Feb 25, 2014
You seriously expect anyone to believe that astrophysicists are so mind-numbingly stupid that they can't tell the difference between a shock wave and double layer?


Yeah, well that's par for the course. Did you know that the volcanos on Io are actually giant space lightning bolts as well? Those stoopid astronomers just can't get anything right.

Cantdrive: I wish you could understand the true nature of the plasma you pretend to know all about. It really is an interesting field, and it's at the cutting edge of some of the most interesting work being done in astronomy and related fields today.

The only reason your whacky EU/PC theories sound okay to you is because you don't know enough to understand why they don't really work.

The part I don't understand is how so many people can take the time to explain things to you and you still refuse to absorb any of the knowledge we're offering you. If you even accepted half the stuff we tell you, you'd be able to debate us intelligently.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (4) Feb 25, 2014
Furthermore, the nebula is about 0.7 light years across; the electric current required to pinch something that large is beyond physical explanation, and would require an energy source that remains more mysterious than any mystery of main stream science


Yeah, that's been explained to him before at great length. Conservation of energy and momentum be damned, he explains it via a mechanism of intergalactic rivers of plasma (filaments) flowing along the intergalactic magnetic field and thereby generating a massive current. Does that sound about right CD?

Don't even bother trying to explain to him why this doesn't work. He doesn't understand the fundamentals of field theory well enough to get it.
shavera
5 / 5 (4) Feb 25, 2014
I wish you could understand the true nature of the plasma you pretend to know all about. It really is an interesting field, and it's at the cutting edge of some of the most interesting work being done in astronomy and related fields today.


And isn't that just the saddest bit of all this? Really? The universe is so wonderful and interesting and fantastic as it is. I mean yeah, we can all sit around telling cranks they're wrong til we're blue in the face, but the sadness is that they'd rather take these wacky fictions than taking the time and effort to understand the actual picture we have, and how well supported it is.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (2) Feb 26, 2014
And isn't that just the saddest bit of all this? Really? The universe is so wonderful and interesting and fantastic as it is


Yes, well said.

And we happen to be living in an exraordinary time for astronomy, which I think will be remembered by future generations as a significant period of discovery. The discovery of adaptive optics in combination with advanced computer analysis has led to a flood of new discovery far exceeding any time before.

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