Astronomers have discovered another star with an extremely unusual decrease in luminosity

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2019-03-06 16:00:11

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Astronomers have discovered another star with an extremely unusual decrease in luminosity

Piggy astronomical mysteries replenished. An international group of researchers reported on the results of observation of a very unusual star. Located about 440 years of low-mass star, dubbed EPIC 204376071, demonstrates a very interesting behavior – a very deep asymmetric shading, reaching the level of 80 percent. About the detailed findings of astronomers of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

About this behavior of the stars we heard earlier. If anyone has forgotten, we are talking about famous star Tabby (KIC 8462852). Some scientists have suggested that near may be some «megastructure aliens» what could explain this behavior. But even the stars Tubby the level of the occlusion at the peak was not more than 22 percent. And then as many as 80 (!), what makes the mystery even more interesting.

The Detected occlusion of the EPIC 204376071 lasted about a day, and that most interested researchers is the fact that the event was extremely deep, and quite noticeably asymmetrical with the duration of the output events is approximately twice longer than the release.

"In our work we report about the discovery day 80 percentage depth of shade of the young star EPIC 204376071," write the astronomers in the article.

In a new article, scientists describe in detail their discoveries and reflect upon various theories that could explain this strange behavior of the star.

The Researchers note that EPIC 204376071 was seen by a space telescope "Kepler" twice during its K2 mission. Event blocked up to 80 percent of the light from the star for the day. However, over the next 160 days, in the framework of which conducted monitoring of the object, occlusion of the EPIC 204376071 not repeated, except for frequent flashes, which can be explained by feature class of the star itself.

EPIC 204376071 Star is a red dwarf (spectral class M). She is very young – age about 10 million years. The object has a mass of about 0.16 solar masses and a radius of about 0.63 solar. Temperature of about 3000 Kelvin, a luminosity of 0.03 solar. The period of rotation is 1.63 days.

Astronomers believe that such a deep Eclipse with such properties cannot be explained by the presence of another star that can cross EPIC 204376071, thereby reducing the luminosity for us.

According to one hypothesis proposed by scientists, is a unique, very deep, long drop in the light curve can be caused by orbiting dust and small particles of different density. Although computer simulations have shown in this case is not quite similar results occlusive.

According to the second assumption, the reason for the observed shading of the stars can be random accretion of dusty material close to the radius of koratala stars. But again, computer models are not quite the expected result.

the results of modeling the changes of the light curve of the star involving accumulation of dust, orbiting (left) and with the participation of the accretion disk (right). Blue color observed simulated dynamics of occlusion, red – data real observations

Scientists believe that it is too early to draw conclusions about which of the proposed hypotheses is actually true. Researchers have noted the need for additional observations over EPIC 204376071. In particular, they want to measure radial velocities to search for signs of the presence of stars near orbital bodies. in addition, scientists plan to conduct observations using adaptive optics to search for scattered light from potentially being in the system disk structures.

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