December 31, 2004
Beta Ceti is a bright, giant star with a hot corona that radiates about 2,000 times more X-ray power than the Sun. Scientists suspect that this X-ray activity is somehow related to its advanced stage of evolution called core helium burning. During this stage, the core of the star is very hot (more than a hundred million degrees Celsius) and converting helium to carbon via nuclear fusion reactions.
Topics: Nuclear physics, Cetus constellation, Star types, X-ray, Human Interest, Beta Ceti, Giant star, Red giant, Helium, Nuclear fusion, Stellar astronomy, Sun, Star, Space plasmas