JUN 02, 2019 10:35 AM PDT

Why Do Blue Supergiant Stars Twinkle?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

One of the most captivating parts of astronomy is studying distant stars and comparing them to our own, which brings us to one of the most critical aspects of this research: what makes a blue supergiant star tick?

Blue supergiant stars are some of the universe’s most massive and hottest-burning stars, and because they burn so hot, they tend to fizzle out in about a tenth of the time as a cooler star like our Sun. On the other hand, blue supergiant stars are also particularly fascinating because their surfaces seem to ‘twinkle.’

Astronomers have long tried to explain why these stars exhibit this twinkling effect, but observations conducted with NASA’s Kepler K2 satellite and TESS spacecraft may have revealed one of the mechanisms responsible for this: internal gravity waves (not to be confused with the gravitational waves that LIGO frequently observes).

Indeed, the surface of these massive and hot stars is being warped by the incredible gravitational forces happening inside the star, and these pulsations cause the star’s surface to ‘warp’ and ‘shimmer’ with time. Astronomers have effectively observed these stars and produced models to detail this process, and as it would seem, the math adds up.

Astronomers are always trying to learn more about these intriguing stars, and perhaps by understanding these internal processes, we can devise more accurate hypotheses and better understand the universe around us.

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 29, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
The Most Distant Rotating Galaxy was Formed 13.3 billion years ago
JUL 29, 2022
The Most Distant Rotating Galaxy was Formed 13.3 billion years ago
MACS1149-JD1, aka JD1, is a galaxy about 13.3 billion years away from us, meaning the light from that galaxy takes 13.3 ...
SEP 04, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Looking Back in Space: NASA's Project Mercury
SEP 04, 2022
Looking Back in Space: NASA's Project Mercury
This series will explore historic space missions from the start of the Space Age to the present day, including both crew ...
OCT 10, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Using Silicon-Germanium Transistor Technology to Explore Europa
OCT 10, 2022
Using Silicon-Germanium Transistor Technology to Explore Europa
In a recent study presented at the IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference in July 2022, a research team led ...
OCT 07, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Early Stellar Evolution Imprints in Stellar Oscillations
OCT 07, 2022
Early Stellar Evolution Imprints in Stellar Oscillations
A new study published in Nature Communications is shedding new light on the theory of stellar evolution. Astronomers at ...
NOV 03, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Martian Core Identified Through Planetary Scan
NOV 03, 2022
Martian Core Identified Through Planetary Scan
In a recent study published in Nature Astronomy, a pair of researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) hav ...
NOV 06, 2022
Space & Astronomy
New Evidence Suggests Ancient Northern Ocean on Red Planet
NOV 06, 2022
New Evidence Suggests Ancient Northern Ocean on Red Planet
In a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, a pair of researchers examined topographic ...
Loading Comments...