Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Astronomers close in on the mystery of the erupting Orion star system (video)

AstronomyAstronomers close in on the mystery of the erupting Orion star system (video)


Astronomers have puzzled for 88 years about how a pair of binary stars have continued to erupt over the course of a century, but it seems the mystery has finally been solved.

The double star system FU Orionis (FU Ori), located around 1,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Orion, first stunned astronomers in 1936 when it suddenly increased in brightness by around 1,000 times. This type of explosive brightening was expected from old dying stars, but the stars of FU Ori are just an estimated 2 million years old, mere infants in cosmic terms and compared to our middle-aged 4.6 billion-year-old star, the sun.

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