Bad Astronomy | A sextuple star system where all six stars pass through the eclipse

It deserves a “wow”: astronomers have found a sextuple (six-) star system, where if you watch it for a few days, Every star in it will pass through some eclipse.


Multiple stars are just intrinsically cool: Unlike our sun, sailing alone through space, multiples where two or more stars orbit each other in a stable, gravitationally bounded system. Half the stars of the galaxy are in the same way in many systems. Most are binaries (two stars orbiting each other) and some trinetra (three stars). Fewer yet are in the higher order system.

This is the first thing that makes TYC 7037-89-1 special: it is a sextuplet, a six-star system. It is more than 1,900 light years away, so is a reasonable distance, but it can be detected by the TESS, the transiting exoplanet survey satellite. TES measures the brightness of stars to measure skype, which looks to move exoplanets, which mini-eclipse on their host stars, revealing their presence.

But it can also find a lot of other interesting things. TESC 7037-89-1 looks like a star in TEST data, but one that changes its brightness – A. Variable star. Astronomers found that this is reflected in TAS data for stars changing the brightness in a certain way, indicating that they are multiple star systems.

What were they looking for Receiving binaries: The stars that not only orbit each other, but also where we see our orbits almost sideways, so that the stars appear to pass in front of the other. When this happens, the total light from the pair falls slightly differently. Astronomers established automated software to search for such stars, and out of about half a million they found 100 that appeared to be three-star systems or more.

And that brings up a second good thing about the TYC 7037-89-1: It’s not just the six stars orbiting each way, but they are arranged in binaries: a pair of stars orbits. one more A pair of stars, and a third pair orbiting them both!

The binary pairs in order of brightness are named A, B and C, and each of those stars is given a number 1 or 2 (again in order of brightness). The two internal binaries are then A (composed of stars A1 and A2) and C (C1 and C2), circled by binary B (B1 and B2). A and C are separated by approximately 600 million kilometers (approximately Jupiter’s distance from the Sun), it takes about 4 years to move around each other – this using archival data from other telescopes, including WASP and ASAS-SN was scheduled. B circled the two at a distance of about 38 billion km, a period that took 2,000 years to complete.

And now the best thing about this system is revealed: All three pair of stars are receiving binaries! We see all three binary orbits almost sideways. A1 and A2 go through a mutual eclipse (A1 eclipse A2, then half an orbit later A2 eclipse A1) every 1.57 days, so they are very close together. C1 and C2 circumnavigate each other in 1.31 days, and B1 and B2 take 8.2 days.

Because each star in any pair eclipses the other, by measuring how long the eclipse takes place, as well as other parameters (including taking spectra) we can learn important things such as how big the stars are, how hot they are, even more. And it yields one more Surprise: All three binaries are very similar. They are triple!

In each, the larger star is about 1.5 times the diameter of the Sun, slightly warmer and about 1.25 times the mass of the Sun. In each, the smaller stars are similar to each other, too: about 0.6 times the mass of the Sun and 0.6 times the diameter. They vary slightly, but the thing is that they are very close, which is strange.

Such an arrangement is not just ridiculous. Models of how stars are formed suggest that sexes are made up of two trinary systems that orbit each other, not three binaries. So it is quite rare, but it seems impossible to see all three binaries on shore.

… “Seems like.” In fact it is likely that they are formed from a rotating disk of material, each star falling out of it. Because of this it is indeed likely that the three orbital planes of the binaries are the same. So if we look at one edge, we see them all at the edge, or almost the same. This is not as possible as you might think all three are assuming.

I will also look into binaries classes Around each other Are not on the edge. We see the orbit of A and C around each other from an angle of about 40 °, even we see different stars on the binaries edge. The inclination of B’s ​​orbit around those two is not well constrained by the observations, however.

Hopefully a long-term study of this system will yield more information about how they built. We don’t really know much about many such systems, so under what conditions they are understanding it would be quite interesting.

I know, it’s headache-inducing. So many revolutions, angles, stars … Sometimes nature is complicated, and it is difficult to maintain. If it helps, I would describe a similar fictional system that played a significant role in the first season Star Trek: Picard. More systems such as TYC 7037-89-1 are known; For example, the CzeV1640 is a quadruple system with two pairs of eclipse gates. Nature is complex, but sometimes frugal, reusing the same idea over and over again.

But oh my, would i like a ship The enterprise Already! To be able to see yourself in such a close, see these six stars as – Six! – Dance around each other …

New world really strange.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.