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Living dinosaur

Stars with a huge mass are rare nowadays

In comparison with small stars like our sun, stars with a huge mass like Eta Carinae have a short life span. They usually do not exist for more than 3 million years, while dwarf stars can go on for longer than 10 billion years. for this reason,  Eta Carinae is what Damineli calls a “real living dinosaur”.

The expression is apt because, the bigger the mass, the bigger the gravitational pull inside the stars. This accelerates the consumption of stellar fuel, which comes from the production of more complex chemical elements based on other simpler elements.

Our sun, for example, is in the stage of producing helium in its nucleus from hydrogen, the simplest and most abundant element in the entire universe. The solar energy derives from the extra mass that four hydrogen atoms have in relation to a single atom of helium that they form. The excess mass is eliminated in the form of energy, according to the famous equation equating mass with energy e = mc2, established by the Swiss physicist of German origin Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

As a living dinosaur, Eta Carinae is witness to the evolution of the galaxy, which has already had countless large mass stars like it. These stars produced all the nitrogen available today on Earth. The proof of this abundance, according to Damineli, is that the observation of distant galaxies shows that they are full of large-mass stars.

Distant galaxies in space means galaxies far off in time and seen today as they were in a remote past, when the light radiation left the body that spawned to it to travel for billions of years in space and only now reach our orbital and land-based mirrors and telescopes. In the Milky Way, there are today, no more than a dozen stars will a mass of more than 80 solar masses.