We've been taught that stars twinkle and blinks from a distance of million light years away. But this new study will shed light on stars blink differently and for different reasons.
What happens if it is a star that blinks sporadically? What could have happened in a distance of millions of light years away?
Meet the star called KIC 8462852 or also known as Tabby's star. It has irregular light fluctuations that we earthlings interpret as a star's twinkle.
But scientists at Columbia University in New York found new information about the seemingly friendly-sounding Tabby star. They found that Tabby may have devoured a planet in the past - maybe 200 and 10,000 years ago. Like a messy eater, Tabby surrounded herself with planetary crumbs.
After the star had eaten another planet, it could've given it a temporary energy causing it to brighten. The bigger the planet being devoured, the star would take longer to dim on its own.
As the devoured planet broke off from its moons, cloud of debris formed and orbited around the hungry star. Once debris blocked the light from between the star and toward Earth, it gave out a dimming, blinking effect when light is perceived from our planet.
“We estimated that if Tabby's star were representative, something like 10 Jupiters would have to fall into a typical star over its lifetime, or maybe even more,” says Brian Metzger who led the study.
He hoped that next time they would be able to see the actual planetary debris passing close to the star.
The study is published to Cornell University Library in Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
See: Mind-Blowing Collision of Stars Will Be Visible in 2022!