Rare Five Star System Discovered

Posted: Jul 9 2015, 5:36am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Rare Five Star System Discovered
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  • Five Stars System of Real Rarity Found in Outer Space

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A system of real rarity consisting of five stars was found in outer space.

Astronomers seem to have found a system of five linked stars in the depths of outer space. The stars consist of binary pairs and one of them has a single extra satellite. This is a unique find in the annals of astrophysics.

And while all five stars circumambulate around a common center of gravity, the distances between them are as large as the distance between Pluto and the Sun. This particular system is 250 light years away. Ursa Major is the constellation within whose context it lies.

This five stars system was discovered by the SuperWASP project. The project employs various tiny cheap cameras planted in the Canary Islands and South Africa in order to take views of the night sky.

The luminosity of the stars is plotted in a brightness curve that is then tabulated for its data value. And when the stars cross each others path, the result is a dimming of their lights. Two of these stars form a binary system where they are actually in contact with each other (partially).

The contact binaries are so close to each other that they almost have a mutual climate to boot. The other binary which happens to have some separation in its midst is 3 million kilometers apart.

Finally, a fifth star has been found somewhere close to the whole setup too. It is indeed a very strange and weird yet beautiful system of five stars. And the fact of the matter is that it could easily outdo the best episode of Star Wars as far as its sci-fi fantasy value is concerned. The scenario is one of five suns that shine bright and luminescent in the night sky so many light years away from our home planet.

Co-author Dr Marcus Lohr, from the Open University, told BBC News, "This is a truly exotic star system. In principle there's no reason why it couldn't have planets in orbit around each of the pairs of stars. Any inhabitants would have a sky that would put the makers of Star Wars to shame. There could sometimes be no fewer than five Suns of different brightnesses lighting up the landscape."

It seems that all five stars evolved out of a common large ancestor of dust and gas. And although such a system of five stars is very rare in the universe at least one other kind has already been discovered so far by the Kepler telescope.

The fact that two pairs of eclipsing binary stars are there alongside one solo star means that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. The stellar source of these five stars must have undergone some pretty wild somersaults of cosmic action and reaction in order to have created the grandiosity found in this pentad of possibilities.

This research have been presented at the UK Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting 2015 in Llandudno, Wales on July 8.

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