Binary Star Modeled Using 130 Years of Data
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Text, News From The Universe. March 19, 2021
Data Spanning 130 Years Includes First X-Rays
U Monocerotis is the first binary star system of its type to be caught emitting X-rays.
The X-ray data were added to 130 years of multi-wavelength observations to build a detailed model of the system.
It is a rare type of binary system - a young star and an aging companion star that has shed layers to create a broad, dusty disk.
The earliest available measurement of the system comes from the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) on December 25, 1888.
X-rays were detected by the European SPace Agency's X M M Newton Satellite in 2016. They likely come from the smaller, younger star.
With over a century of data, astronomers detected a 60 year cycle of dimming that may indicate a clump in the dusty disk.
Astronomers want to learn more about how this system compares to younger disks, where clumps can eventually become planets.
This news was brought to you in part by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD