The Roundest Object Ever Observed In The Universe Uncovered, More Round Than The Sun
Scientists discovered the roundest object ever observed in the Universe known as Kepler 11145123. This distant star is about 5,000 lightyears away from Earth.
The findings of the study were published in Science Advances on Wednesday. It was led by a team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the University of Gottingen. They gauge the oblations of a slowly rotating star with unprecedented precision using the asteroseismology, which is the study of the oscillations of stars, according to Science Daily.
Kepler 11145123 is perhaps the roundest object in the universe. https://t.co/3AuadCuRhL
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November 17, 2016
Laurent Gizon from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research and the lead author of the study said that Kepler 11145123 is significantly more round than the Sun. He further said that it is over twice the size of the Sun, as noted by USA Today.
In the study, the team compares the frequencies of the modes of the oscillation that are more profound to the low-latitude regions and the frequencies of the modes that are more profound to higher latitudes.
Kepler 11145123 supports purely sinusoidal oscillations. With the comparison made, it indicates the difference in radius between the equator and the poles is only 3 km with a precision of 1 km. Gizon said that this makes the distant star, Kepler 11145123, the roundest natural object ever measured, even more, round than the Sun.
The study also suggests that the star is even less oblate than implied by its rotation rate, which surprised the team. They propose that the presence of magnetic field at low latitudes could make the star look more spherical to the stellar oscillations. The Sun's magnetic fields can be studied through helioseismology and magnetism on distant stars in asteroseismology. On the other hand, the stellar magnetic fields, particularly the weak magnetic fields, are difficult to directly observe on distant stars.
"We intend to apply this method to other stars observed by Kepler and the upcoming space missions TESS and PLATO," said Gizon. He added that it will be particularly fascinating to see how faster rotation and a stronger magnetic field can change a star's shape.