Scientists have found the solution to the existence of an "impossible" star

Maria ShevchukNews
The white dwarf is too small to detect. Source: NASA

A few years ago, astronomers announced the discovery of an unusual system called KIC 8145411. In it, a white dwarf orbits a Sun-like star every 450 days.

This dwarf is nothing more than the dim, compact remnants of stars that have exhausted their nuclear fuel. The system is a rare example of a self-lensing binary, where the gravitational weight of a compact white dwarf increases the light of its companion star to a very small extent, allowing astronomers to measure the dwarf's mass, writes New Scientist.

Scientists have found that it makes up only a fifth of the mass of our Sun. This is extremely small for such a star. This has previously been observed only in systems where a dwarf orbits closely around another star that sucks mass out of it.

In KIC 8145411, the white dwarf orbits at a distance slightly greater than the distance between the Earth and our Sun (1 AU), which is too far for a larger star to chip away at the dwarf. Astronomers came to only one conclusion: this star must not exist.

Now, Natsuko Yamaguchi of the California Institute of Technology and her colleagues have taken another look at the system using the Palomar Observatory in California and found a solution.

Scientists have found the solution to the existence of an ''impossible'' star

The researchers found that the system contains another Sun-like star that orbits the other two at a distance of about 700 AU. By factoring this new star into the calculations, the team determined a more reasonable mass for the white dwarf - about half that of our Sun.

Any planet in a system with three stars would potentially have wild and unusual seasons as it moves through its orbit. However, unfortunately, such worlds are unlikely to be found in KIC 8145411 because they would have been burned up during the formation of the white dwarf.

"If the planet existed, it would probably have been destroyed," Yamaguchi said.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA wrote that a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered the three oldest stars in the Universe. Scientists say they could have been born simultaneously with the first galaxies.

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