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: Cetus constellation, Nuclear physics, Star types, X-ray, Human Interest, Red giant, Sun, Nuclear fusion, Helium, Giant star, Beta Ceti, Star, Stellar astronomy, Space plasmas