Friday, January 27, 2023

They find two invisible stars moving with each other at full speed

LP 413-53AB is estimated to be billions of years old, but it has an incredibly short orbital period.
Picture, Adam Bergesar / University of California San Diego

A group researchers have Found an extreme binary system consisting of two dwarf stars that are so cool that they do not emit visible light. In fact these two are also very close to each other. It takes less than one Earth day to orbit each other.

This binary system is called LP 413-53AB and was discovered by researchers from Northwestern University and the University of California San Diego. These two dwarf stars belong to a class known as ‘ultracool dwarf‘: Their temperature is so low that they emit mostly infrared light, making them invisible to our eyes (but thankfully not to our telescopes). chih chun soo, An astrophysicist at Northwestern University led the study and presented the findings this week at the American Astronomical Society meeting.

“It’s exciting to discover such an extreme system,” Hsu said in a announcement, “In principle, we knew that these systems should exist, but such systems had not yet been identified.”

Reviewing a range of archival data, Hsu and colleagues discovered the LP 413-53Ab binary system. Because the stars are so tightly bound by each other’s gravity, the light emitted from the system appeared to researchers as one star, until further investigation showed that they were two separate stellar bodies. . These dwarf stars are low in mass and complete one revolution around each other in just 20.5 hours.

Hsu and his team decided to observe the system directly using the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Its first observation was in March 2022 and lasted only two hours.But he also made follow-up comments in July, October and December.

“When we were making this measurement, we could see how things changed after a few minutes of observing it,” Adam Bergesar, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California San Diego and a collaborator on this research, said in the statement. “Most of the binary systems we track have orbital periods of years. Thus You can take measurements every few months, and then, after a while, you can put the puzzle together. With this system, we were able to see the spectral lines move in real time. It’s amazing to see something happening in the universe on human time scales.”

Hsu, Bergesar and their colleagues found that the distance between the two stars is about 1% of the distance between Earth and the Sun, and they estimate thatStars can migrate between each other during their lifetime. It is also estimated that LP 413-53AB is billions of years old and in addition has one of the smallest orbital periods ever discovered A binary star system.

Nation World News Desk
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