5 Star Family System: Landmark Scientific Discovery

5 Star Family System: Landmark Scientific Discovery

Q.6: The first ever system of 5 stars bound to each other through gravity has recently been discovered by researchers. Provide an overview of this landmark scientific discovery.

- The first ever family of 5 stars bound to each other through gravity has been discovered by Open University UK astronomers

- This system is located 250 million light years away from the solar system in the constellation of Ursa Major

- In this star system, days would have dramatically changing light levels as the different stars were eclipsed

- Night is missed out for a large part of the year and darkness/night sky is only visible when starts are on the same side of their world

- The unusual star System was detected in archived data from the SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) project

- This project uses small, affordable camera in Canary Islands and S. Africa to image the whole sky every few minutes

- Scientists initially found a system where two stars were orbiting so closely that they shared an outer atmosphere

- This pair refers to as contact binary and the two stars completed one orbital cycle in just fewer than 6 hours

- Some additional blips were noted and a re-analysis showed a second eclipsing binary at the same location in the sky

- New binary was detached and it had a longer orbital period of 1.75 days

- The 2 sets of stars were separated by 21 billion km rather larger than size of Pluto’s orbit around the sun

- The 4 stars were then observed spectroscopically so that signature of different stars can be studied in a minute way

- All stars are smaller than the Sun of the solar system but the collective system is bright enough to be seen in small telescopes and amateur astronomers could observe eclipses

- Two binaries seemed to be orbiting the same place and further explorations yielded a unique 5 star system.

Facts and Stats

- The two binaries may be orbiting in the same plane because they were formed from a single disk of gas and dust, scientists opine

- This quintuple star system, known as 1SWASP J093010.78+533859.5 (J093010 for short) or TYC 3807-759-1 is a recent discovery

- By combining the data from the five stars’ light curve and their spectra, researchers have been able to confirm that they are all gravitationally bound together in a single system.
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