Science Unusual tear-drop shaped, half-pulsating star discovered by amateur astronomers

tom_mai78101

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(CNN) When stars behave strangely, astronomers take notice. In the case of a star known as HD74423, it was amateur astronomers who first spotted the anomaly in data captured by NASA's latest planet-hunting space satellite TESS. What they didn't realize was that they were looking at an entirely unknown type of star -- the first of its kind.

This star of interest, located about 1,500 light-years from Earth, was flagged to the astronomy community -- but astronomers didn't understand it either.

"What first caught my attention was the fact it was a chemically peculiar star," said Simon Murphy, study co-author and postdoctoral researcher from the Sydney Institute for Astronomy at the University of Sydney. "Stars like this are usually fairly rich with metals -- but this is metal poor, making it a rare type of hot star."

The star is about 1.7 times the mass of our sun. And they saw it pulsating -- but just on one side of the star, a heartbeat blinking at us from a great distance.

Stars are known to pulsate, and even our sun exhibits this kind of activity due to hot gas churning beneath the surface, causing oscillations.

No matter the age of the star or how long or short these oscillations last, all pulsating stars are usually similar in that the pulsating can be seen on all sides of the star.
Until now, that is.

This new star only appears to be pulsating in one hemisphere of its surface.


Read more here. (CNN)
 
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