posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 01:54 AM
That's neat. But 6 months between pics means a lot can happen in that time.
Something like a massive electrical discharge could have caused the dust to collapse into much more condensed objects. Gravity isn't the only thing
that would affect it, even though most astronomers only seem to think in terms of gravity. Think of how electrostatic precipitation works, but on a
much more massive scale. Just need lots of potential to build up and some event to unbalance it. The material doesn't necessarily have to be gone
from the orbit of the star, it's just not reflecting and scattering the light like it was.
If there were intervening frames to capture the event, I'd almost guess it looked similar to stuff is floating on water and a having a drop of
detergent added. Of course it would have occured over those 6 months, but that's still pretty quick on a cosmic scale.
A UV or X-ray image of the star during that timeframe might have been interesting too. Shame they only saw the before and after.