Volume 561 Issue 7724, 27 September 2018

Stellar outburst

The cover image is a visualization of the turbulent envelope of a luminous blue variable star surrounding the central high-density core. As their name suggests, these massive, evolved stars display large variations in their luminosity and size. In this week’s issue, Yan-Fei Jiang and his collaborators report 3D models that suggest the mechanism behind this phenomenon. They find that helium opacity plays an important part in triggering the outbursts and in setting their effective temperature of around 9,000 kelvin. The team predicts that these stars should also show variability at the 10–30% level on a timescale of days.

Cover image: Joseph Insley/ALCF

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