A team of Pune-based researchers has discovered eight ‘exotic’ radio stars that are hotter than the Sun with unusually strong magnetic fields and very stellar wind. The team from National Center for Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Pune presented research papers in this regard.
The research paper will be published in The Astrophysical Journal. Research suggests that these stars emit intense radio pulses because of their emission behavior, which resembles a lighthouse on a pitch-dark island. They are ‘main-sequence radio pulse’ (MRPs) emitters that have powerful magnetic fields.
The team, led by researcher Barnali Das with her supervisor Professor Poonam Chandra, is getting special praise for such a unique discovery. A Giant Meterwave Radio Pulse (UGMRT) was used for this discovery. “The success of the GMRT program has revolutionized perception about this class of stars and opened a new window for studying their exotic magnetospheres,” the NCRA said.
Researcher Barnali Das hails from Bajli district of Assam. He started his career as a trainee at the National Center for Radio Astrophysics, Pune. Presently, he is a Research Scholar at National Center for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Pune.
In a press release, the NCRA team said that they had discovered three more such stars using GMRT in the past. Of the total 15 MRPs known so far, 11 were detected with GMRT. According to the researchers, eight were discovered in 2021 alone. The first MRP was discovered in 2000.
Since MRPs are stars hotter than the Sun with unusually strong magnetic fields and very strong stellar wind, they emit lighthouse-like bright radio pulses, the team said.