The TESS satellite, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, was launched in 2018 to detect small planets orbiting stars near the Sun.
TESS has so far identified 172 confirmed exoplanets and compiled a list of 4,703 candidate exoplanets, including the mysterious dusty substance. Știri.md.
Its sensitive camera produces images that cover a large field of view over twice the surface area of the Orion galaxy, and Phys.org writes that TESS has compiled a list of more than 1 billion different cosmic objects (ICT).
Subsequent studies of ICT objects have found that they are caused by stellar pulses, supernova shocks, shattering planets, binary stars, three eclipse star systems, disk clouds, and more.
Karen Collins of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) was a member of the team of astronomers who discovered the mysterious ICT variable 400799224.
Mysterious dusty substance that beats at regular intervals
The team searched the table using computational tools based on machine learning generated from the observed behaviors of hundreds of thousands of known variable objects; For example, this method has previously detected decaying planets and dusty bodies.
The unusual ICT 400799224 accidentally lost its brightness rapidly, falling by almost 25% in four hours, which was followed by several strong variations in brightness.
Astronomers have studied the ICT 400799224 with a variety of instruments, some of which have been mapping the sky longer than the TESS running.
They discovered that the object may be a binary star system, and that one of the stars beats for 19.77 days, perhaps because a body orbits it and occasionally emits dust clouds that obscure the star.
But when the time interval is strict, the dust clouds of the star are irregular in shape, depth, and duration, and can be detected in less than a third of the time (at least from the ground).
This dusty mysterious object was intact
The nature of the body around it is strange because the amount of dust expelled is large; If it had been produced by the decay of an asteroid like Ceres in our solar system, it would have survived about eight thousand years before it disappeared.
However, during the six years that this object was observed, the time interval was severe, and this mysterious, dusty object remained intact.
The team plans to determine its variations over decades, to constantly monitor the object, and to combine historical observations of the sky. This study has been published in the journal Astronomy.