Research

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

Piggy astronomical riddles replenished. An international team of researchers reported on the results of monitoring another very unusual star. Located in about 440 years low mass luminaries, called EPIC 204376071, shows a very interesting behavior - a very deep asymmetric shading, reaching 80 percent. Detailed results of the study of astronomers are reported in an article in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

We have already heard about this behavior of stars. If anyone forgot, we are talking about the famous star Tabbi (KIC 8462852). Some scientists still suggested that there might be some “megastructure of aliens” near it, which could explain this behavior. But even the stars Tabbi occlusion level at the peak was not more than 22 percent. And then there are as many as 80 (!), Which makes the riddle more interesting.

The detected occlusion in EPIC 204376071 lastedfor about a day, and what interested researchers most of all was that the event was extremely deep and rather noticeably asymmetrical with an exit event lasting about twice as long as the exit.

“In our work, we report the discovery of a one-day 80% depth of shading of a young star EPIC 204376071,” write the astronomers in the article.

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

The researchers note that EPIC 204376071 wasseen by the Kepler space telescope twice during its K2 mission. The event blocked up to 80 percent of the star's light for the whole day. However, over the next 160 days, during which the object was observed, the occlusion in EPIC 204376071 did not recur, except for frequent flashes, which can be explained by the class feature of the star itself.

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

Astronomers believe that such a deep eclipse withsuch properties cannot be explained by the presence in the system of another star that can cross EPIC 204376071, thereby reducing its luminosity for us.

According to one hypothesis proposed by scientists,this unique, very deep, long fall in a bend of light can be caused by the orbital movement of dust or small particles of different density. Although computer modeling showed in this case not quite similar results occlusion.

According to the second assumption, the reasonthe observed shading of the star may be random accretion of dusty material near the star's corotation radius. But, again, computer models show not quite the expected result.

The results of modeling the light curve changesstars involving dust accumulating in orbit (left) and with the participation of an accretion disk (right). The simulated occlusion dynamics is marked blue, the real observation data is red.

Scientists believe that it is still early to draw conclusions aboutwhich of the proposed hypotheses is actually true. The researchers note the need for additional observations of EPIC 204376071. In particular, they want to measure the radial velocity to search for signs of the presence of orbital bodies near the star. In addition, scientists plan to conduct observations using adaptive optics to search for scattered light from potentially located in the system of disk structures.

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