According tomedia reports, our sun is a relatively predictable star. We know it’s periodic, we know its age, we think we know how long it’s going to last in its current state and eventually “lose our temper” and destroy most of the solar system. But there are many different kinds of stars in the universe, some of which are much stronger than the sun’s.
Not only is it very rare to have a star named Apep, but according to current information, it won’t last long.
This is a Wolf-Rayet star. To get the title, the star must be bright and hot and seem to be constantly at risk of collapse and explosion due to the amount of fuel it runs out. Obviously, the specific conditions for stars that meet these criteria are very rare, and only one out of 100 million stars gets such a label.
Apep is such a star, but it is actually much rarer than it appears. This is because Apep is not a lone star but a double star, which dances beautifully around each other’s orbits. The twin stars produce spiral patterns as they rotate around each other, but the Wolf-Rayet doubles produce more spectacular patterns in the sky.
As in this image taken by the European Southern Observatory, Apep forms a very beautiful and iconic pattern in the sky. I wonder if you think the pattern looks like the logo of the third movie of Alien? It’s not a perfect match, but it’s much closer than it should be.
Of course, its beauty masks the fact that the star is essentially a bomb waiting to explode. In addition to exhibiting all the common Wolf-Rayets extreme behavior, Apep’s main star appears to be spinning fast. This means that when it becomes a supernova, it may have all the ingredients to detonate a long gamma storm.
Perhaps 8,000 light-years from Earth, the star may have exploded, but we haven’t seen it yet. If so, you may soon see a spectacular light show.