Why the Weirdest Star In the Universe has Astronomers Astonished

Space is a bizarre place with its alien planets,mysterious moons, and strange phenomena that are so out of this world they elude explanation.Astronomers have estimated that there are approximately 10,000 stars in our universefor every grain of sand there is on earth. However as with most rules there are exceptionsand one star in our universe is notably different from the others to the extent that we canalmost certainly call it the weirdest star ever discovered welcome the Factnomenal and todaywe will take a look at this unstable enigma Mira meet Mira which is also known as omicronseti a red giant star that's estimated to be between 200 and 400 light years fromthe sun in the constellation Settis which is named after the sea monster in greek mythologywhich both Perseus and Heracles needed to slay .

While Oseti which has been latinized toOmicron Ceti is the star's bayer designation he was also named Mira by polish astronomerJohannes Hevelius in his 1662 publication Historiola Mirae Stele. Mira is an extremelyappropriate name for this bizarre star as it translates from latin as wonderful orastonishing the international astronomical union organized a working group on star names in orderto catalog and standardize proper names for stars the group's first bulletin in July of 2016included a table for the first two batches of names they'd approved and the list included Mirafor the star making it absolutely official Mira is a binary stellar system consisting of Mira a whichis a variable red giant along with mirror b which is its white dwarf companion what makes Mira aso interesting is that it is a pulsating variable .

Star and it was the first non-supernova variablestar discovered with the possible exception of Algol it is therefore a prototype of the classof pulsating stars known as Mira variables Mira has been known to us since ancient timesbut its unique nature only became apparent in the 16th century a german pastor an amateurastronomer by the name of David FAbricius a man who regularly corresponded with the morefamous and renowned astronomer Johannes Kepler discovered that the star's brightness changedperiodically every 11 months and not just by a small amount these changes were hugeor perhaps more appropriately they were astronomical in their magnitude as a general rulemira isn't a difficult object to observe when the time and conditions are right at peak brightnessit shines at a healthy second or third magnitude .

Which is more than bright enough forit to be observed by the naked eye conveniently it was almost peak brightnessin august 1596 when Fabricius observed it from his home in Germany near the borderof what we now know as the Netherlands a few months later when he attempted to view itagain he was shocked as it seemingly vanished where did it go Mira's disappearing act initiallyled Fabricius to believe that the star was a nova a rare but amazing type of star that brightensvery suddenly then disappears from view permanently however to his astonishment he saw itbrighten again nearly 13 years later and in 1609 he knew he discovered a new class of celestialobjects known as long-term variable stars this variable star was viewed on many further occasionsthroughout the 17th and 18th centuries and those .

Subsequent observations revealed that it variedin brightness with a period of around 333 days those variations ranged from about magnitude 2 or3 down to a magnitude of around 10.0 which is a factor of about fifteen hundred what does all thismean it means that it is the largest variation of stellar brightness in anything other than the morecataclysmic variables such as novae or supernovae the depth and periods of variability of Mira arenot precisely regular like they are in the case of the aforementioned variable star Algo for examplebut the periodic variability was clear enough and impressive enough for Johannes Hebelius togive it its wonderful and astonishing name why does it act this way but exactly what isit that causes Mira's astonishing variability well the shortest and simplest answer is that it'scurrently experiencing a phase of its evolution .

Whereby the pull of gravity and the burningof hydrogen fuel in shells around its core are contesting with each other which causesregular pulsations with the transparency of hydrogen ions in the outer atmosphere acting as asort of on off switch to start each cycle afresh gravity pulls the outer layers of the star inwardfor a few months which increases the temperature of the outer layers and increases the opacity ofionized hydrogen the increased heat in radiation pressure builds up resulting in the expansion ofthe star the ions then grow transparent and cool resulting in the outer layers falling backtowards the star's core think of it as though it's a weight on the end of a spring bobbing upand down within the earth's gravitational field the spring pulls up the earth pulls down andthat process is repeated over and over during .

Said process a star is at its brightest when itnears its smallest radius when it's at its hottest a dysfunctional family as we briefly touched uponearlier in the video there is now a whole class of long-term variable stars called Mira variables ofwhich Mira itself is obviously the most well-known kaisigni arcarene are hydrae and arleonus areamongst a fairly long list of others whose variable brightness are also visibleto the naked eye stars of this nature all boast a deep red coloring and tend tovary over many months by several magnitudes essentially they're all red giant stars that areincredibly advanced in terms of their life cycles having run out of hydrogen fuel intheir cores a long long time ago as a result the internal parts have compressedand heated to burn heavier elements like helium .

And their red coloring is further enhanced whenin some cases they pull out enriched material from their cores as millions and millionsof years pass a Mira variable will generally blow off its outer layer and turn into anaesthetically incredible planetary nebula like the ring nebula and the dumbbell nebula untilits core finally placates as a burned out ember that we call a white dwarf interestingly our ownsun will also go through such a phase in around 5 billion years time so the process will certainlyhave implications closer to home eventually that essentially means that when we observe Mirawe're actually getting a sneak peek at the distant future of the very star we orbit as it beginsits inevitable demise if Mira is something that sounds interesting to you then why not observethe variability of it for yourself it can be .

Found in the neck of the Cetus constellation andis visible from around September through January for northern observers it's just over the southernhorizon and it's almost directly overhead for those in the southern hemisphere don't despair ifyou can find mirror without the aid of specialist equipment it probably just means it's at a pointin its cycle where it's dimmed the truth is the majority of its existence is spent being invisibleto the naked eye and if the conditions make it so it's actually possible for two or three yearsto go by without people being able to see it regardless Mira really is the sight to behold whenit becomes visible to the naked eye in the space of a couple of weeks if you'd like to check outhow bright Mira currently is as well as how bright countless other stars like it are and to estimatewhen it will next brighten to naked eye visibility .

Simply head to the website of the Americanassociation of variable star observers and use the light curve generator app justenter the star's name the start and end date of interest you want to know about and click onthe plot data button it's definitely worth a look so what did you think about Mira have youever seen a Mira variable in the night sky tell us in the comments if you enjoyed the videoplease be sure to leave it a like and subscribe to our channel for more great videos just like thisand as always thanks for watching Factnomenal
Space is a bizarre place with its alien planets, mysterious moons and strange phenomena that are so out-of-this-world they elude explanation. Astronomers have estimated that there are approximately 10,000 stars in our universe for every grain of sand there is on Earth. However, as with most rules, there are exceptions, and one star in our universe is notably different from the others – to the extent that we can almost certainly call it the weirdest star ever discovered. Welcome to Factnomenal and today we will take a look at this unstable enigma. Buy us a coffee to show your support! https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Factnomenal DON’T CLICK THIS LINK: https://tinyurl.com/357shs3j Thanks for watching Factnomenal! 🌎 Subscribe for more space discoveries, space facts, and space in general! 🔔 Hit the bell next to subscribe so you never miss a video! ► For copyright matters, make sure to send us an email to Adam@trustedmiddle.com #weird #factnomenal #space