The stars can communicate! Getting to know better the stars, even the mighty Sun, has hugely revolved around investigating their outsides, meaning the atmosphere and the surface. Although we can’t take a sneak peek inside a cosmic feature, we can still guide our guesses by following its pulsations that occur in the interior. Analyzing such rhythms, scientists can find out what’s happening at the core of a star.
Recently, NASA’s planet-hunting space telescope succeeded in taking a look at what happens inside. The research explains the pulsation of lots of delta Scuti stars, which are approximately two times as massive as the Sun. The finding offers a new way for scientists to comprehend the awkward physics happening within the cores of these cosmic features.
What Stars’ Pulsations Can Tell Us
To get into the insides of the stars, scientists from the University of Sydney teamed up and started an investigation. They used NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to obtain the necessary data. The satellite launched back in 2018, captures images of the sky and performs a quick measurement of the brightness of thousands of stars. Such a technique help the scientists to determine how the intensity changes over time. So, a bit in brightness might be related to a planet passing in front of a star. Also, the small changes are linked to oscillations and pulsations in the core of the star.
The team focused on TESS data comprising a sample of 92,000 stars and, with some smart coding, was capable of developing a device to sort through the immense data set quickly. The final results included only 57 delta Scuti stars with observable rhythms.
The identified stars are somehow close to our galaxy, lying between 70 and 1,400 light-years away. Tim Bedding, the first author of the research and an astronomer at the University of Sydney, described the rhythms as a “cat walking on a piano.” Although delta Scuti stars are broadly spread across the Universe, previous investigations didn’t find any regular rhythms.