More News

Astronomers hopeful of finding aliens amid the discovery of appearing and disappearing stars

A team of astronomers has identified a curious occurrence of nine stars like objects that appeared and vanished in a small region within half an hour in an old photographic plate.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 16 Jul 2021, 10:59 am

(Representational Image: Unsplash)
(Representational Image: Unsplash)

 

A group of stars like objects appearing and disappearing at the same time have been detected for the first time in the history of astronomy, raising hope among astronomers of finding aliens.

A team of astronomers has identified a curious occurrence of nine stars like objects that appeared and vanished in a small region within half an hour in an old photographic plate, the Union Science and Technology Ministry said in a release.

Advertisement

stars, photoplates(Image: PIB)

The ministry said that astronomers collaborating across counties track vanishing and appearing celestial objects by comparing old images of the night sky with new modern one, register unnatural phenomena, and probe deep into such phenomena to record changes in the universe.

Scientists from Sweden, Spain, USA, Ukraine, and India, including Dr Alok C Gupta, scientist from ARIES, investigated early form of photography that used glass plates to capture images of the night sky from April 12, 1950, exposed at Palomar Observatory in California, USA and detected these transient stars which were not to be found in photographs half an hour later and not traced since then.

The astronomers have not found any explanation in well-established astrophysical phenomena like gravitational lensing, fast radio bursts, or any variable star that could be responsible for this cluster of fast changes in the sky, the ministry said in a release.

Dr Alok C Gupta, scientist from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, participated in this study which was recently published in Nature's "Scientific Reports".

Advertisement

The study led by Dr. Beatriz Villarroel of Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics, Stockholm, Sweden, and Spain's Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, used the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (the largest optical telescope around the world) at Canary Islands, Spain, to do deep second epoch observations. The team hoped to find a counterpart at the position of every object that had appeared and vanished on the plate. The counterparts found are not necessarily physically connected to the weird objects.

The scientists are still exploring the reasons behind the observation of these strange transient stars and are still not sure about what triggered their appearance and disappearance. “The only thing we can say with certainty is that these images contain star-like objects that should not be there. We do not know why they are there,” says Dr Gupta.

The astronomers are examining the possibility that the photographic plates were contaminated with radioactive particles causing false stars on the plates. But if the observation is proven to be real, another option is solar reflections from reflective, unnatural objects in orbit around Earth several years before the first human satellite was launched.

The astronomers who belong to the collaboration Vanishing & Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations (VASCO) have still not sorted out the root cause of the “nine simultaneous transients”. They are now eager to look for more signatures of solar reflections in these digitized data from the 1950s in a hope to find aliens.

Advertisement

First published:16 Jul 2021, 10:59 am

Tags:

new discoveryscienceuniversedisappearing starsastronomers

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

Advertisement

Top Stories

Loading data...
Advertisement

IFP Exclusive

Loading data...
Advertisement

Feedback

Have a complaint, a suggestion or just some feedback about our content? Please write to onlineifp@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to address it.