After accidentally observing the wrong star this paper’s authors discovered a previously-unknown solar twin, a type of star which can help shed light on a number of questions in astronomy.
The light from a star is not constant, it varies as the layers of hot material move back and forth, clump and disperse. Most of these vibrations are visible, detectable, and well understood. But some bizarre new vibration is happening in stars, for which we have no clear path to an explanation.
We can precisely measure chemical abundances for stars. This offers an intriguing possibility that we may, in the near future, start using these measurements to know more about the insides of rocky planets orbiting them.
Bizarre transits, century-long dimming, and now…brightening spells?
NGC 3199 is only the fourth Wolf-Rayet nebula to be observed in X-rays. Toala et al. present chemical abundances for this nebula and find that the star that produces it, once considered a runaway star, might not be so far from home after all.
Read on to learn more about the discovery of the smallest star ever seen.