All posts tagged: Squalling

“Old Smoker” and the “Squalling Newborns”: Strange new star type discovered hiding in the Milky Way

“Old Smoker” and the “Squalling Newborns”: Strange new star type discovered hiding in the Milky Way

After a decade spent monitoring the sky, an international team of astronomers have discovered a nursery of newborn stars, along with an entirely new type of elder star that has been hidden at the heart of our galaxy — and which may solve a mystery about the formation of new elements in the universe.  Published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, four new research papers detail the fruit of a 10-year survey of hundreds of millions of stars conducted at the Cerro Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Andes. Using the observatory’s massive, high-powered Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope (VISTA), researchers notice that 222 of those many-millions of stars were acting odd, and flashing dramatically in strange patterns. The team slowly whittled down the list of possible issues. About two-thirds of the stars were easy to classify as well-understood events of various types, researchers said. But the others stars were harder to read. What the scientists needed was to spread the light out along different wavelengths and determine, for each one, which parts …