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Astronomers create first detailed images of surface of giant star

An international team of astronomers has produced the first detailed images of the surface of a giant star outside our solar system, revealing a nearly circular, dust-free atmosphere with complex areas of moving material, known as convection cells or granules, according to a recent study. The giant star, named π1Gruis, is one of the stars in the constellation Grus (Latin for the crane, a type of bird), which can be observed in the Southern Hemisphere. An evolved star in the last major phase of life, π1Gruis is 350 times larger than the sun and resembles what our sun will become at the end of its life in 5 billion years. Studying this star gives scientists insight about the future activity, characteristics and appearance of the sun. In the future, the researchers would like to make even more detailed images of the surface of giant stars and follow the evolution of these granules continuously, instead of only getting snapshot images.

Visit Website | Image credit: European Southern Observatory