The U.S.-based NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has discovered that an ancient star encounters eclipses that would allegedly have helped the Egyptians in Ancient Egypt to build the pyramids.
The star has been determined to be Alpha Draconis, that is also known as Thuban. According to the researchers that manage the finding, this is the North Star that is among the ones really close to the northern pole of our planet’s spin trajectory.
As per the astronomers, Thuban’s fame rose from an iconic role it played some 4,700 years ago when the earliest pyramids were being built in ancient Egypt. Because of some alterations in the Earth’s spin axis, a phenomenon known as precession, that takes place over a 26,000-year cycle, the North Star is Polaris.
An Unexpected Star System
NASA‘s TESS is still observing the star, which is apparently 270 light-years from Earth, and found out that not only is a couple of stars, but it also encounters eclipses. The spacecraft was able to detect this due to the fact that it monitors regions of the sky for 27 days at once, allowing it to follow changes in stellar illumination.
The most massive star in the system is allegedly 4.3 times bigger than the Sun and has a surface temperature of about 17,500 degrees Fahrenheit (9,794 degrees Celsius), which is 70 percent hotter than our Sun.
Angela Kochoska, a postdoctoral researcher at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, presented the discoveries at the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) that took place in Honolulu on January 6th. The researchers are now planning to follow-up the finding with some more analysis of the eclipses that TESS can monitor and locate.
According to the sources, the satellite was launched back in 2018 in April as the successor of the Kepler telescope. This spacecraft has found a massive amount of exoplanets, such as the so-called ‘missing link.’