(ORDO NEWS) — While observing the globular cluster Palomar 2, astronomers have discovered 32 new variable stars. The new variables are mostly RR Lyrae stars. This is reported in an article published August 16 on arXiv.org
Variable stars can provide important clues about the features of stellar structure and evolution of stars. They could also help us better understand the scale of the universe’s distances.
In particular, the so-called RR Lyrae (RRL) variables are a powerful tool for studying the morphology, metallicity, and age of galaxies, especially those with low surface brightness.
A team of astronomers led by Armando Arellano Ferro of the National Autonomous University of Mexico reports the discovery of dozens of new variable stars.
The discovery is the result of long-term observations of Palomar 2 with the Indian Astronomical Observatory’s two-meter telescope.
Palomar 2 is a globular cluster located about 100,000 light-years away in the constellation Auriga. Up to this point, no variables in this stellar group have been reported.
Ferro’s team found 20 RRab and 1 RRc Lyra RRs. After analyzing data from the Gaia satellite, scientists found 10 more variables and one star at the red giant branch (RGB) stage. Six of these 10 variable stars have been confirmed to be of the RRab type.
The scientists said that 18 of the stars found are in the Palomar 2 cluster.
In addition, based on the collected data, the researchers concluded that Palomar 2 is located at a distance of approximately 86,000 light-years from Earth, the cluster is closer than previously thought.
The results also show that the metallicity of the cluster is at -1.39, which is consistent with previous studies.
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