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Star has comet-like tail
Posted: Thu, Aug 16, 2007, 9:37 AM ET (1337 GMT)
Mira and its tail (NASA) Ultraviolet images taken by a NASA spacecraft have revealed that a well-known star has a comet-like tail that extends for over a dozen light-years. Images of the star Mira taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) spacecraft revealed the tail, the first time a star has been found to have such a feature. Astronomers believe the tail consists of material that has been blown off of the aging red giant over the last 30,000 years. The tail exists because the star, about 350 light-years from Earth, is moving relatively rapidly. The tail glows principally in ultraviolet light, which helps explain why it was not previously observed.
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