Citizen scientists played a key role in helping astronomers discover a unique star. This special star, known as HD74423, has a shape of a tear-drop and pulsates on the only side.
The amateur scientists observed data collected by NASA’s TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite). On finding certain anomalies, they passed the information to professional astronomers for further study and analysis. What the astronomers found proved to be a novel finding.
Usually, the pulsating stars pulsate globally. However, HD74423 pulsates on only one side. And this makes it different from other pulsating stars which include our Sun. As per the researchers, the reason for this is that the star exists in a binary system in close proximity with a red dwarf.
Star HD74423 and the red dwarf star orbit each other in approximately 2 days. Because of the gravitational pull of the red dwarf star HD74423 takes a tear-drop shape and the pulses seem to emanate just from one side. This incredible discovery proves a long-standing hypothesis.
Donald Krutz from the University of Central Lancashire stated that the existence of such stars as HD74423 was put forward theoretically since the 1980s and after 40 years one such star was finally found. Scientists believe that there are more such stars present in space and this is just a start.