‘Wolf-Rayet’: Discovery of a Helium Star
Recently, a massive helium star with the potential to form a ‘magnetar’ named ‘Wolf-Rayet’ has been discovered.
The discovery marks the discovery of a new type of astronomical giant—the magnetic helium star—and sheds light on the origin of ‘magnetars’.
Magnetars are neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields, whose origin is debated. One possibility is the expansion of the magnetic field in the core of the original star, which formed the neutron star during the supernova explosion.
Researchers have used spectropolarimetry to identify a high magnetic field in Wolf-Rayet. The mass of a Wolf-Rayet is high enough that it can generate a neutron star in a supernova.
Massive stars that are in an advanced stage of stellar evolution, and are losing mass at a very rapid rate, are known as Wolf–Rayet stars. Being typically 25 times the mass of the Sun, they have short lifetimes and are therefore fairly rare objects.
- A neutron star is the remnant formed from the gravitational collapse of a massive star after a supernova event.
- These stars are made only of neutrons. Their size is very small but mass is very high. They have a nuclear density, which is approximately 13 or 14 times the power of 10 of the density of water.
Source – SciTechDaily