Astronomers believe that the movement of the Alpha star of the Giraffe cluster is due to gravitational interactions with other members of the cluster or perhaps the supernova explosion of a large star, which caused this star to be ejected from a hot young star cluster.
What do we see in today’s NASA image?
Like a ship sailing through cosmic seas, the runaway star Alpha Giraffe creates a bow wave, or bow shock. This massive star moves through space at a speed of more than 60 kilometers per second, compressing interstellar material in its path.
At the center of this approximately 6-degree view, we see the alpha star, which has a mass of about 25 to 30 times the mass of the Sun, five times hotter (30,000 Kelvin) and more than five hundred thousand times brighter. Located about four light-years away in the constellation Giraffe, this star produces strong stellar winds. The bow shock of the alpha star is about ten light years away from the star itself.