A star with a heartbeat & without a magnetic field discovered

Tags: Science and Technology

A group of Indian and international scientists have spotted a peculiar binary star that shows heartbeat but no pulsations contrary to the norm of binary stars. This star is called HD73619 in Praesepe (M44), located in the Cancer constellation, one of the closest open star clusters to the Earth.

  • A total of about 180 heartbeat stars are known to date. The name 'Heartbeat' stems from the resemblance of the path of the star to an electrocardiogram of the human heart. 
  • These are the binary star systems where each star travels in a highly elliptical orbit around the common centre of mass, and the distance between the two stars varies drastically as they orbit each other. 
  • This is carried out by a team of scientists from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital an autonomous institution under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt of India.
  • The discovery is of vital importance for the study of inhomogeneities due to spots in non-magnetic stars and to investigate the origin of the pulsational variability. 

This joint work is supported by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO), Govt. of Belgium under the Belgo-Indian Network for Astronomy and Astrophysics (BINA), project.

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