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Astronomers have discovered a mysterious object that throws dust into space

Astronomers have discovered a mysterious object that throws dust into space

Artist's view of the TESS instrument in space.  The object is a silver cylinder with plates stretched on either side.

Astronomers are looking Via data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey (TESS) satellite recently I came across something strange: an object called TIC 400799224 that swirls in brightness, like a star that is routinely eclipsed. Analyze their notes It is suggested that TIC 400799224 is actually two stars, one of which orbits a mysterious object. Researchers believe that a large asteroid or even a small planet is releasing clouds of dust that dimmed the starlight from TESS’s perspective.

It was launched in 2018, he-goat The mission to search for exoplanets – worlds outside our solar system – passes in front of their host stars, causing detectable dips in the star’s brightness. So far, TESS has discovered 172 exoplanets, and 4,703 candidate exoplanets await further analysis. These alien worlds help planetary scientists understand the demographics of the universe and the diversity of planets that exist.


A region of space speckled with stars with a particularly bright object in the center.

TIC 400799224 appears to be a stellar binary, or two stars orbiting each other. The distance between the stars is thought to be about 300 AU, according to the paper, with 1 AU being the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. The research team is still not sure which star hosts the mysterious object that is causing the low brightness. blackout It is happening Around Every 19.77 days, but the length, intensity and shape of dips change Much.

the The frequency of the dimming is what leads the team to believe it’s caused by an object in orbit, although dips don’t happen with every transit, so the team thinks the most likely cause is an intermittently emitted dust cloud. their search published In the Astronomical Journal.

What makes TIC 400799224 particularly strange is that the suspected dust clouds are larger than researchers expect, assuming that the clouds are caused by the object’s disintegration over time. as a center for astrophysics | Harvard and Smithsonian press release He notes, the slow disintegration is the cause of clouds of dust that come from Ceres, a dwarf planet in our solar system.

else is similar to fell apart Objects have also been found, so there is a precedent for TIC 400799224. Researchers will continue to study the system and review Historical records of TIC brightness 400799224, in a Hope you get a better understanding of what’s going on there.

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