APOD- U Camelopardalis

Photo Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA and H. Olofsson (Onsala Space Observatory)

Let me introduce you to U Camelopardalis or U Cam. U Cam is a dying, carbon-rich star. It is located in Camelopardalis constellation and it is about 1500 light-years away from Earth. U Cam actually allows us to look into the future of Our Sun as U Cam is in the Red Giant phase. U Cam evolved from blending hydrogen into helium, and helium into carbon and now is in the course of the detonation of its death.

                The star had to expand exponentially in size in order to keep its hydrostatic equilibrium. Ultimately, the heat from the core superheated the outer-most layer of the star, the outermost layer was then expelled into space. This is currently what is happening to U Cam. As the star enters this Phase, it burns energy at intense speed and the star seems much brighter, and thus much bigger, than it actually is. In actuality, the star is about the size of a single pixel. Scientists believe this detonation initiated some 700 years ago and was initiated by a chain of procedures that only took about 50 years to complete. U Cam is one of the few stars scientists have detected at this point in its stellar progress.

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