Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Seen In The Universe

Posted: Nov 16 2016, 9:56pm CST | by , Updated: Nov 16 2016, 10:00pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Seen in the Universe

The star Kepler 11145123 is the roundest natural object ever measured in the universe. It is even more round than the Sun

A distant star located 5000 light years away from the Earth is believed to be the roundest natural object ever spotted in the universe.

Stars are usually not perfectly round. As they spin around, they become flat at the poles and bulge out along the equator. The faster the star rotates, they more oblate it becomes.

The newfound star, named Kepler 11145123, shows a difference of only 3 kilometers between its poles and equator with the precision of 1 km, making the object astonishingly sphere. To put it in perspective, the Sun has a radius at the equator that is 10 km larger than at the poles and Sun is the roundest natural object ever precisely measured. Earth is even flatter with a difference of 21 kilometers.

Sun’s one complete rotation takes 27 days while the new star, which is almost twice the size of sun, rotates three times more slowly than our neighboring star.

“This makes Kepler 11145123 the roundest natural object ever measured, even more round than the Sun.” Principal investigator Laurnet Gizon from Max Planck Institute said.

Researchers have measured the flatness of the extremely slowly rotating star by studying its oscillations or back and forth movement.

NASA’s Kepler mission observed the star’s oscillations continuously for more than four years and examined its periodic expansions and contractions by detecting fluctuations in brightness of the star. When researchers looked at its frequency of mode of oscillation, it turned out to a fairly sphere. Surprisingly, the star is even less oblate than its relative rotation rate.

"We intend to apply this method to other stars observed by Kepler and the upcoming space missions TESS and PLATO,” said Gizon. “It will be particularly interesting to see how faster rotation and a stronger magnetic field can change a star’s shape.”

The study has been published in journal Science Advances.

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