Discovered an "invisible" star at a distance of 2,500 light-years from Earth

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2020-02-12 03:20:08

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Discovered an

it Turned out some space objects can bend space-time around themselves.

In space, an extremely hostile environment for humans, all the time something happens. Different celestial objects, including stars, galaxies, clouds of dust and gas is constantly changing. For this reason, the European space Agency developed a space telescope Gaia, which was studying the sky again and again. This repeated viewing of the same sites is necessary in order to fix the position of stars — Gaia is capable of detecting thousands of transient objects (objects that appear and disappear). Because of this, researchers can target ground and space telescopes to the desired area of the sky and detailed study of the heavenly , which may be phenomena such as supernova explosions and other stellar flares.

a Very strange star

In the Summer of 2016, astronomers saw the star, which is located at a distance of 2,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, as if preparing to become a supernova. However, the next day, the star has restored its normal state and the supernova did not happen. But a few weeks later the situation was repeated: the brightness of the stars suddenly increased, and then faded. This cycle was repeated five times for 500 days. But what was it and how is this possible? The results of the study of this mysterious star appeared in the journal .

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In the official published on the website of the European space Agency, one of the co-authors Lukasz Wyrzykowski at the University of Warsaw (Poland) said that such behavior is not typical for stars, as no single type of supernovae, or other stars does not show this behavior. In subsequent observations, the researchers used data obtained using more than 50 telescopes around the world. Every time I saw the same picture , called Gaia16aye was really strange.

Space telescope Gaia again and again scans the same areas of space

Researchers believe that the reason for this unusual behavior lies in the fact that gravity is an invisible object, which deformed the fabric of space-time has increased , when she passed nearby. Later astronomers found that this invisible object is a double star, located in 2,544 light years from Earth, which is so dim that we cannot see it. It's like she's invisible to us. However, based on how the gravity of a star affects the amount of light emitted, the astronomers were able to calculate the mass, distance and orbit a pair of stars to red dwarfs.

How gravity changes space-time

Abnormal brightness of the stars suggested the presence of a double object, which produces the so-called gravitational microlens — the effect predicted by Einstein that happens when the gravity of the object in the foreground causes space-time to double, increasing the objects behind it, like a cosmic magnifying glass. These lenses increased the star's light each time she passed behind them, and the stars were virtually invisible from the Ground. Scientists used the phenomenon of a gravitational microlens for careful monitoring of some of the oldest stars, galaxies and objects in the Universe, but the effect may also reveal properties much closer to us, objects and rare space phenomena. Researchers believe that many mysterious objects, for example, can be discovered in the future.

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