Our source of energy, the sun, has a history wrought with star cannibalism or so the latest astrophysical research points towards.
The past evolution of our sun was a haphazard and violent one. Normally, stars are created within circulating clouds of interstellar gases and dust. These nebulous materials contract and coalesce under the pressure of their own gravity.
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Before becoming a star however the dust and gas form a disc-like conglomeration around a center. This is in accordance with the law of angular momentum.
The exact manner in which the gases collect into the burning ball that is the star remains a fascinating process that is still being studied by scientists and astronomers. It is a violent procedure through which stars accumulate their materials.
What it is not is a steady process. Sharp stellar flares occur from time to time in this evolution which happens in jerks and breaks. The FU Orionis star is a classic example of this phenomenon.
It increased its brightness by 250 over a single year. And now it has been a hundred years since this state has been stable.
A hypothesis concerning this high luminosity state was put forward a decade ago by Eduard Vorobyov. Stellar brightness is due to chaos in gravitational instabilities within the discs of young stars.
Then the shifting of dense gases occurs into centers of the stars. It resembles the throwing of logs into a fireplace. The extra energy causes the star to brighten and radiate tons of light and heat.
The star consumes material equal to a single earth every ten days or so. Basically, the process of star formation described by Vorobyov is star cannibalism on a grand scale.
While these giant clumps of gas could have condensed into planets such as Jupiter, their fate was to become food for mother stars.
The SUBARU telescope that is in Hawaii has lent valuable clues regarding this theory. Via high resolution optics, the disc fragmentation model can be tested in reality.
Four young stars with their luminosity bursts are the subject of this latest study. It got published in a journal. Definitely, a giant step in our understanding of the evolution of planets and stars, these observations will pave the way for even more surprising astronomical findings.
Even our very own sun may have a history like what we know about the chaotic forces changing a star during its formation.
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This study got published in the journal Science Advances.