Thursday, 28 July 2016

The Loneliest Young Star

Alone on the cosmic road, far from any known celestial object, a young, independent star is going through a tremendous growth spurt. The unusual object, called CX330, was first detected as a source of X-ray light in 2009 by NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory while it was surveying the bulge in the central region of the Milky Way. Further observations indicated that this object was emitting optical light as well. With only these clues, scientists had no idea what this object was.

But when Chris Britt, postdoctoral researcher at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and colleagues were examining infrared images of the same area taken with NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), they realized this object has a lot of warm dust around it, which must have been heated by an outburst. Comparing WISE data from 2010 with Spitzer Space Telescope data from 2007, researchers determined that CX330 is likely a young star that had been outbursting for several years. In fact, in that three-year period its brightness had increased by a few hundred times. July 27

The lead author Chris Britt , based at Texas Tech University in Lubbock,  submitted the research paper on May 17, 2016 [1] at the Gibbous Moon. A chart for the Moon phase at Lubbock is shown here. Stars conjoining the Moon are Vindemiatrix, Porrima and Auva of Virgo. The stars of sidereal Virgo are linked to alienation and isolation  so that the discovery under the Gibbous Moon  that CX330 is a lonely star is quite appropriate. In addition, the Sun is conjunct the TNP Admetus on the MC. Among others things, Admetus is linked to isolation so that this adds further confirmation to the theme of alienation.

The research paper was first published online by the Royal Astronomical Society on May 18 just a day after the Gibbous Moon when it opposed Uranus and Eris. The dwarf planet Eris was discovered in 2005 and led to the demotion of Pluto as a planet. Subsequently, astrologers have linked Eris to all manner discord leading to disruption and changes [2]. Here too astronomers may have to revise their ideas about how stars are formed.

[1] (submitted 17 May 2016)

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