Astronomers have discovered a promising magnetic incompatibility in space


Two stars born in the same stellar nursery, but on opposite ends, have found each other. And when they are aligned, it causes a strange disturbance of the magnetic field around them. According to an article published this week Astrophysical JournalThe magnetic field of this sparkling duo is crushed, distorted and even cracked.

Although scientists are still unsure why this strange phenomenon occurs, the most popular hypothesis is that one of the two stars ” Has changed the dynamics of the cloud to distort its magnetic fieldErin Cox, an astrophysicist at Northwestern University and lead author of the paper, explained.

A place suitable for cosmic life?

This magnetic incompatibility could lead to important discoveries in the future about the habitation of exoplanets, the behavior of stars like the Sun, and even the search for extraterrestrial life.

In fact, decoding the privacy of binary star systems can shed some light on what could be the planets around them. ”
The formation of planets and stars occurs at the same time and binary stars interact with each other dynamically
Erin Cox adds. ”
In our Exoplanet census, we know that there are planets around these dual stars, but we do not know much about how these planets differ from the planets living around a single star.
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Earth is an isolated star, living around the sun, but can there be any kind of Earth besides stellar twins? Alpha Centauri, for example, is our nearest star system, and contains two major stars. Many experts believe that this cosmic place could be a good place for life, and some even plan to one day send a space sail equipped with imaging devices, hoping to find such extraterrestrial signs. Having information about the dynamics of binary stars before this ambitious journey can greatly facilitate this search.

The story of the perverted field

Erin Cox and her fellow scientists stumbled upon this strange binary star sibling after tracking a well-known star-forming cloud dubbed L483. Initially, the L483 was nothing special. It was a classic stellar nursery, about 100 times larger than our solar system, emitting stellar matter with extreme energy and contributing to the birth of tons of stars. His magnetic field seemed quite normal. ” At first the theory matched the prediction “, Underlining the researcher.”
But theory can say one thing, and observation can say another.

After using NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy for a closer look at the L483, the team immediately noticed that the magnetic field at this star nursery was not normal at all. In Chile, using a powerful radio telescope called the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array, researchers made a discovery that was more unfamiliar than the magnetic complex. A new star of L483 is hidden right behind … there was another new room. ”
More recent work suggests that it is possible to create distances between two stars and then create a binary by approaching one star.
“, Explains Erin Cox.” We think that’s what’s happening here. ” However, he added,
We do not know why one star will move towards another, but we think that a moving star has changed the dynamics of the system to distort the magnetic field.
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Further observations have revealed key points about the binary star system, such that from our point of view they are still very young, they form regularly, and they are at equal distances from Pluto to our Sun. ”
As new tools for discovering and exploring new binary systems come online, we will be able to test these results with a statistical sample.
Erin Cox thinks.

CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance

Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / J.Tobin (University of Michigan)

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