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Stars' 'explosive tussle' visualised

Scientists from Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, US, have built a detailed 3D model of the explosive epicentre of the Carina Nebula.

Hidden in between the two vast clouds of dust and gas that they have already spewed out, the primary and secondary stars of the Eta Carinae system are locked in orbit, blasting each other with solar winds at a million miles per hour.

Even the smaller one is 30 times heavier than our Sun - and about one million times brighter.

Where the winds collide, they produce X-rays, which astrophysicists have measured using space telescopes.

These and other observations were used to create a supercomputer simulation of the wind-fight, revealing previously unseen complexity.

Courtesy Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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