Milky Way brought massive excitement in the scientific community lately. Something’s warping its edges, and this has been intensively analyzed by experts.
The strange cycle of a star
Back in the summer of 2016, astronomers watched a star that was 2,500 light-years away in the Cygnus constellation flash to life as if preparing to explode in a huge supernova.
The very next day, the star was dimming back to normal again, and this triggered questions.
In a few weeks, this strange cycle repeated once more, and the star did the same thing – it brightened, then dimmed again, and all of this happened on the same day.
Over the next year, in 2017, the cycle occurred again, and LiveScience notes that it had repeated five times within 500 days.
“This was a very unusual behavior,” Łukasz Wyrzykowski, an astronomer who studied this star at the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw, Poland, stated.
He continued and said, “Hardly any type of supernova or other star does this.”
What’s bending space-time in the Milky Way?
Now, the same online publication mentioned above noted that in a study that was published at the end of January in the journal, Astronomy, and Astrophysics, it’s detailed how the star named Gaia16aye, was not actually doing anything strange.
According to the authors of the study, it seems that the mystery was revealed and it’s the following: “a set of meddlesome binary stars (two stars that orbit around a shared gravitational center) is warping space-time in front of Gaia16aye, effectively creating a field of cosmic magnifying glasses,” LiveScience writes.
The lenses are amplifying the light of the star every time it passes behind them, and this made the stars basically invisible from our planet – that’s all.
It’s also important to highlight the fact that the stellar magnifying effect made the massive objects seem to bend space-time around them – this is known as the gravitational lensing and it’s been previously predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.