ESOcast 144 Light: Giant Bubbles on Red Giant Star’s Surface (4K UHD)

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have for the first time directly observed granulation patterns on the surface of a star outside the Solar System — the ageing red giant π1 Gruis.

A remarkable image from the PIONIER instrument reveals the convective cells that make up the surface of this huge star, which is 350 times larger than the Sun. Each cell covers more than a quarter of the star’s diameter and measures about 120 million kilometres across.

The video is available in 4K UHD.

The ESOcast Light is a series of short videos bringing you the wonders of the Universe in bite-sized pieces. The ESOcast Light episodes will not be replacing the standard, longer ESOcasts, but complement them with current astronomy news and images in ESO press releases.



Directed by: Nico Bartmann.
Editing: Nico Bartmann.
Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida.
Written by: Rosa Jesse and Richard Hook.
Music written and performed by: John Stanford (
Footage and photos: ESO, B. Lazareff (LAOG), Digitized Sky Survey 2, N. Risinger (, NASA, SDO, M. Kornmesser, L. Calçada, H. Boffin, ESA.
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen.

About the Video

Release date:20 December 2017, 19:00
Related releases:eso1741
Duration:01 m 25 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:π1 Gruis
Type:Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Red Giant

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