Science 2 min read

Astronomers Discover "Peculiar" Dimming Star

In a strange astronomical discovery, scientists have discovered another dimming star. In the space of just 24 hours, the star mysteriously dimmed by over 80%.

This is not the first discovery of a dimming star, but it is one of the most curious ones. ¦ Image via Wikimedia Commons

This is not the first discovery of a dimming star, but it is one of the most curious ones. ¦ Image via Wikimedia Commons

A team of international astronomers recently discovered another dimming star some 440 light years away from our planet. Known as EPIC  204376071, the star reportedly dimmed by up to 80 percent for one whole day.

That’s way dimmer as compared to KIC 8462852, popularly known as Tabby’s star, which only dimmed by 20 percent.

In their paper, the astronomers wrote:

“In this work, we report the discovery of a deep depression in the flux (by 80 percent) of EPIC 204376071 that lasts for a full day. The lightcurve of EPIC 204376071 is otherwise quiet for a total of 160 days of observation during the K2 [Kepler 2] campaigns C2 and C15.”

However, what makes EPIC 204376071 even more interesting to astronomers was after hitting 80 percent dimness, it brightened again. But, it also brightened at a slower pace.

This process, called occultation, was also observed as asymmetrical. According to the researchers, the exit of the ‘object’ blocking the light was twice as long as its entry.

placeholder
Dimming star’s occultation | Reddit

Dimming Star

Unlike Tabby’s star, the researchers believe that the mystery surrounding EPIC 204376071’s unusual dimming is easier to figure out. The team already proposed a few ideas. Unfortunately, none suggest a Dyson Sphere or alien megastructure as the cause of the phenomenon.

One of the team’s theories suggests that a celestial object like a giant planet could be blocking the star. Another proposes that a sheet of dust with a thicker leading edge could be in its orbit.

At the moment, no one really knows what’s causing the phenomenon. But, further investigation could hopefully reveal the answer soon.

EPIC 204376071 is classified as a red dwarf or a cold star, one of the most common types of stars in our galaxy. While its mass is only about 16 percent of the Sun’s mass, its size is around 63 percent of our own star.

Read More: Another Baffling Alien Megastructure Star Discovered

Found this article interesting?

Let Rechelle Ann Fuertes know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media.


Profile Image

Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

Comments (0)
Most Recent most recent
You
share Scroll to top

Link Copied Successfully

Sign in

Sign in to access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and clap for stories that matter to you.

Sign in with Google Sign in with Facebook

By using our site you agree to our privacy policy.