Astronomers get to the bottom of the mysterious pulsating stars

Scientists have not been able to get to the bottom of a very specific issue for a long time: the rhythmic pulsations related to a certain category of stars. However, for the first time in history, they can now ignore the cosmic background noise and actually look into the so-called beating hearts of stars.

For the past decades, scientists have tried time and time again to hear the pulsations coming from a class of stars known as “delta Scuti”. New information collected through NASA’s Exoplanet Survey Satellite, abbreviated TESS, seems to indicate that the same patterns are present in tens of stars in our vicinity. This research was made available in the academic journal “Nature”.

Professor Tim Bedding, affiliated with the University of Sydney, has commented on the situation is a recent press release. He said that, before now, way too many chaotic notes came up which made it impossible to properly understand the inner workings of these pulsating stars. He even liked the process of listening to a cat that is walking on a piano.

Stars in the “Delta Scuti” category, which bear the name after a star located in the Scutum constellation, area group of rapidly-rotating, young stars which have about twice the mass of our own sun. Astronomers are entirely aware of the fact that these stars pulsate, but they were not able to identify a clear pattern present in all of them.

The team of astronomers have looked into thousands of different stars. After extensive research, they have identified about 60, found at distances varying between 60 and 1,400 light-years away from our planet. These 60 stars all have a certain pattern in their high-frequency pulsations. One of those 60, called beta Pictoris, could be considered our cosmic neighbor since it is just 60 light-years away from earth and is visible with the naked eye from Australia.

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