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Astronomers Image Mysterious Dark Object That Eclipses Epsilon Aurigae (video)

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posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:24 PM
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www.universetoday.com...


Quote from source:
Epsilon Aurigae has baffled astronomers since the 1800's, but new images are providing insight into this very unusual eclipsing binary star. While eclipsing binary stars aren't unique in themselves, the way this star fades and then regains its brightness is inimitable and has not been fully understood, even after over 175 years of study. One theory has been that a large opaque disk seen nearly edge-on eclipses the primary star. The new images from an instrument developed at the University of Michigan appear to confirm that theory. "It kind of blows my mind that we could capture this," said John Monnier from U-M. "There's no other system like this known. On top of that, it seems to be in a rare phase of stellar life. And it happens to be so close to us. It's extremely fortuitous."

Epsilon Aurigae has a two-year-long eclipse that occurs every 27 years. The current eclipse started in August 2009 and amateur and professional astronomers have taken this opportunity to train as many telescopes on the event as possible.
Monnier led the development of the Michigan Infra-Red Combiner (MIRC) instrument, which uses interferometry to combine the light entering four telescopes at the CHARA array at Georgia State University and amplify it so that it seems to be coming through a device 100 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope. MIRC allowed astronomers to "see" the eclipsing object for the first time.




I looked around and could not find this so I thought I would post it. If it is on here, my apologies.


What a crazy video!!

I wonder what that could possibly be. It has that shape of a galaxy, which is strange, could also be maybe it is sucking a planet and we are seeing it stretched?

This is such a cool thing that we have caught in the act.

I anticipate others opinions.


Any thoughts?

Pred...

[edit on 7-4-2010 by predator0187]




posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:33 PM
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Wow, this is the first i have heard of this! maybe it's a cloaked mother ship,


I like all the history behind it. Very cool.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:40 PM
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The dark object could be very close.

While the star, could be very far in the background.

This explains a lot, for me.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:42 PM
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Why is there "no other system like this known"?

My first instinct, would be to assume we are reading the data incorrectly.

Thus my post above, giving reasoning where none was available.

Thus the anomaly is explained as a mere trick of perspective.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Good explanation!!
the only thing that doesn't fit for me would be why would it eclipse for so long. If it was that much closer it have to be tiny to eclipse. I just think something closer wouldn't take so long to eclipse the star. I don't know just my opinion.


Pred...

[edit on 7-4-2010 by predator0187]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:48 PM
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If the dark spot does turn out to be orbiting the star, than I would have to consider alternate routes.

Perhaps it is some form of dense gas cloud or asteroid cluster that is obstructing the view. Although I admit there are problems with this.

Suggesting it is a black hole/disk, also poses significant challenges.

Suggesting it is a dead star, such as a brown dwarf, also appears to defy logic due to the shape of the shadowing.

So if it is indeed in orbit of Epsilon Aurigae, we are presented with a significant anomaly.

I really love the asteroid cluster theory, although it presents us with the largest known asteroid cluster ever witnessed before.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by predator0187
reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Good explanation!!
the only thing that doesn't fit for me would be why would it eclipse for so long. If it was that much closer it have to be tiny to eclipse. I just think something closer wouldn't take so long to eclipse the star. I don't know just my opinion.


Pred...

[edit on 7-4-2010 by predator0187]


Well if it is actually not orbiting the star.

Consider the region of the galaxy as spirals of stars, forming clusters.

These star clusters have rotations and directional movements that are actually a very fancy "mathematical dance", If you will.

A very close object could possibly be on a rotational direction in our galactic neighborhood, that coincidentally passes over the "same place in the sky" where we view this star.

When in reality the star could be many light years further away than the object which is seemingly blocking it's light out on "regular intervals".

This is a very unlikely explanation also, I admit, but it is Possible!



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 10:57 PM
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It's clearly a giant disc alien ship!


Asteroid cloud? Or it could be the back of a giant turtle?


I had a look at how this interferometry stuff works - wiki is here... and is well worth reading, those telescopes are very clever bits of gear.


[edit on 7-4-2010 by eightfold]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by eightfold
It's clearly a giant disc alien ship!


Asteroid cloud? Or it could be the back of a giant turtle?


I had a look at how this interferometry stuff works - wiki is here... and is well worth reading, those telescopes are very clever bits of gear.


[edit on 7-4-2010 by eightfold]


Nice post! I loved the turtle reference!

They say, it is "Turtles all the way down" after all don't they??

For anyone who doesn't get it, here

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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Interesting answer to the question.

The answer, according to high-resolution images published in the journal Nature, points to a thin, dark and dense disk of dust that passes edge-on in front of the star, filtering out some of the light that reaches us.

Clouds of dust and gas are the building blocks of space, coalescing to form planets, stars and galaxies, according to cosmic theory.

The pictures were taken last November by four one-metre (39.4-inch) telescopes at Georgia State University, whose infrared light was then amplified by a process called interferometry.

The long-awaited eclipse of Epsilon Aurigae, running from 2009 to 2011, was one of the centrepieces of the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.

Pred...



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