HomeAstronomy7-year eclipse reveals 'exceptionally rare' binary system

7-year eclipse reveals ‘exceptionally rare’ binary system

The dimming of a distant star wasn’t caused by internal changes, but rather by it being eclipsed by a cloud of dust surrounding a companion star. The discovery implies the star, Gaia17bpp, is part of a rare type of binary system and its recently observed sudden brightening was the result of the eclipse by a white dwarf companion ending. 

Astronomers made the discovery as they searched data from the Gaia survey for unusual and oddball stars. They found that Gaia17bpp had gradually brightened over a two-and-a-half-year period with follow-up investigations revealing it had been dimmed for seven years as a result of being obscured by dust surrounding its odd companion. 

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