Astronomers have discovered a giant ‘blinking’ star. The star was spotted at the center of the Milky Way. It is named VVV-WIT-08. The star is said to be spotted nearly 25,000 light-years away from Earth. The discovery was made by an international team of astronomers. They said that the star decreased in brightness. They observed that the star nearly disappeared from the sky. It is a common phenomenon that stars change in brightness over several months. This happens because they are eclipsed by other stars. The team noted that it is, however, rare that a star brightens again after becoming fainter. The team, based in the UK, also spotted two more giant stars.
Researchers said that the star may belong to a new class of blinking giants. They said that a star in the system is more than 100 times larger than the Sun. It is eclipsed by an unseen associate. Its companion maybe just another planet or star. It is usually surrounded by an opaque disc. The disc covers the giant blinking star. This causes the star to disappear from the sky and reappear after a certain period. Researchers said that they can only speculate the origin because it is located in a dense region. They predicted that an unknown object could have simply covered the giant blinking star. The team called for an investigation into the new class of blinking giant stars.
Researchers said that one giant star system of this sort is already known for a long time. The star is named Epsilon Aurigae. It is partially eclipsed. The star is overshadowed by a huge disc of dust every three decades. It, however, dims only 50 percent. Another example of this sort is TYC 2505-672-1. It was discovered a few years ago. Researchers noted that it eclipsed the binary star system for a record and longest orbital period of nearly 70 years. They said that VVV-WIT-08 could be a probable contender to break this record. Researchers observed that there could be around six known star systems of this type.