WASHINGTON – A recently discovered star by Hubble Space Telescope has been nicknamed the ‘Nasty One’. The particular star was first observed years ago but it is for the first time that astronomers have seen the star so up close. However why NASA calls this star the ‘Nasty One’? Firstly the star is unique and astronomers nicknamed it “Nasty 1,” a play on its catalog name of NaSt1.
Astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to unravel new facts about a large and fast aging star which was never seen before in the Milky Way Galaxy. This star is said to be a brief transitory stage in the evolution of extremely massive stars.
The star was first seen decades ago when it was identified as a Wolf-Rayet star. A Wolf-Rayet star is a fast evolving star which is much more massive than the sun. It rapidly evolving Wolf-Rayet star loses its hydrogen layers and exposes its extremely hot helium core. However the Nasty 1 does not look like a typical Wolf-Rayet star.
Nasty 1 is unique because the disk like structure could be the evidence for a Wolf-Rayet star formed from a binary interaction. According to study leader Jon Mauerhan of the University of California, Berkeley, this is a very rare occurrence since it is a very short lived process lasting only a hundred thousand years. The resulting disk is visible for ten thousand years or even less.
In a typical scenario, the massive star evolves very quickly. As it loses its hydrogen it starts swelling and this happens much more quickly as compared to ordinary stars. Nasty 1 is only a few thousand years and is located about 3,000 light years from Earth.
In the research teams proposed scenario, the massive star evolves quickly but as it begins to run out of hydrogen, it swells. This can happen much faster compared to the life of other stars and researchers estimate that Nasty 1 is only a few thousand years old and is located approximately 3,000 light years from Earth.
Observing the Nasty 1 is not at all easy since the system is enclosed by a thick cover of gas and dust which blocks the Hubble’s view of the system.