Indian astronomers discover eight ‘exotic’ radio stars hotter than the Sun

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A team of Pune-based researchers have discovered eight “exotic” radio stars that are hotter than the sun with unusually strong magnetic fields and lots of stellar wind. The team of the National Center of Astrophysics of the Tata Fundamental Research Institute of Pune submitted the research papers on this subject.

The research paper will be published in The Astrophysical Journal. Research reveals that these stars tend to emit intense radio pulses due to their emitting behavior, resembling a lighthouse on an island plunged into darkness. They are “Radio Pulse Main Sequence” (MRP) transmitters with strong magnetic fields.

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The team led by researcher Barnali Das and her supervisor, Professor Poonam Chandra, receive special accolades for this one-of-a-kind discovery. A giant VHF radio pulse (uGMRT) was used to make the discovery. “The success of the GMRT program has revolutionized the notion of this class of stars and opened a new window to study their alien magnetospheres,” the NCRA said.

Researcher Barnali Das is from Bajali district in Assam. She started her career as an intern at the National Center for Radio Astrophysics in Pune. She is currently a researcher at the National Center for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Fundamental Research Institute (TIFR), Pune.

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In a press release, the NCRA team said they have discovered three more such stars in the past using GMRT. Of the total of 15 MRPs known to date, 11 have been discovered with GMRT. Eight were discovered in 2021 alone, researchers said. The first MRP was discovered in 2000.

Since MRPs are stars hotter than the Sun with unusually strong magnetic fields and a much stronger stellar wind, they emit luminous radio pulses like a beacon, the team said.

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