Two Stars Fighting to the Death and It’s All on Camera

Share: 

Nothing like a little drama in your photography news feed, eh?

If you’re looking for Hollywood shenanigans, however, you’re going to be disappointed.

Because you won’t find these stars on a walk of fame, but instead in the night sky.

r aquarii
R Aquarii image from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) captured by the Very Large Telescope.

Pictures taken by the European Southern Observatory’s appropriately named Very Large Telescope of R Aquarii shows two stars ripping each other apart in startling detail.

Located 650 light years away from the Earth according to Popular Science, what you’re seeing is a red giant and a white dwarf orbiting around a common center and tearing each other apart in the process.

Popular Science reports that such binary star systems (much like the one inhabited by Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars) are actually quite common in the night sky. Four fifths of all stars are rumored to be paired in such a configuration.

Though common, few are as dramatic as these two in R Aquarii. Both stars are at the end of their life cycles and are destroying themselves and each other in the process.

The larger red dwarf is what is called a Mira star because it pulses as it becomes larger.

The white dwarf is a much more diminished star and is “feeding” off of the red dwarf per Popular Science’s report.

What makes this so cool, aside from the photography, is that we are getting a pretty good view of the action in terms of distance between the Earth and R Aquarii. Even though binary star systems are common, R Aquarii is one of the closest to the Earth that we can see.

While scientists know quite a bit about the life cycle of stars, it is a whole other thing to witness it in action. That’s part of what makes astro-photography such a treasure for humanity.

What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast

It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.

  1. html cleaner  Easy DSLR –  Friend of Light Stalking, Ken Schultz has developed this course over several years and it still remains the single best source for mastering your camera by identifying the main things that are holding you back.
  2. Word to html  Understanding Composition – As one of the core elements of a good photograph, getting your head around composition is essential. Photzy's guide to the subject is an excellent introduction. Their follow-up on Advanced Composition is also well worth a read.
  3. Word to html  Understanding Light – Also by Photzy, the other essential part of photography is covered in this epic guide and followed up in Understanding Light, Part 2. This is fundamental stuff that every photographer should aim to master.
  4. Word to html  5 Minute Magic Lightroom Workflow – Understanding post production is one of the keys to photographs that you will be proud of. This short course by one of the best in the business will show you how an award-winning photographer does it.

About Author

Avatar

Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *