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

In space, 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 the 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 sky and to study celestial objectsthat can be phenomena such as supernova explosions and other stellar flares.

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 was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

In the official press releasepublished 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 pattern: star, dubbed Gaia16aye was really strange.

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, increasing the star’s lightwhen it 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.