An international team of astronomers and astrophysicists including a team from the Australian National University may have solved a mystery 10 billion years in the making.
It has to do with ‘blue hook’ stars. Until now, no one was ever able to explain why these stars, which are less than half the mass of our sun, burn 10 times hotter and are much more luminous than our sun.
The team has concluded that the stars’ unique properties is a product of collisions that destroyed the discs of gas from which the stars initially arose from. The different evolution processes of these stars leave them with a heavier core which burns brighter than typical helium-burning stars.
The blue hook phase of these stars’ life occurs after more than 10 billion years. So, scientists have only been able to discover the reason of their unusual properties when the star consumed nearly all its hydrogen and begins burning the hotter fuel helium. The conclusions, featured in Nature, presents the theory that disturbances, when modestly-sized stars are forming, create a legacy that only becomes visible billions of years later, as they approach the ends of their lives.
[img source] The Australian National University
The above story is based on materials provided by The Australian National University