Indian astronomers from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, have discovered Gaia 20eae, the latest member of episodically accreting young stars.
- Scientists have spotted a new member belonging to the extremely rare group of young stars that exhibit episodic accretion.
- Such rare stars have gained significant interest in the star-formation community lately and this study could help probe into this group of stars and their formation mechanism in greater detail.
What are ‘episodically accreting young stars’?
- Episodically accreting young stars are young, low-mass stars that have not initiated hydrogen fusion in their core and are fuelled by gravitational contraction and deuterium fusion (pre-main-sequence phase of the star).
- These pre-main-sequence stars are surrounded by a disc from which it steadily feeds on the matter from the disc-shaped region of gas and dust surrounding the star to gain mass.
- This process is known as mass accretion from the circumstellar disc of the star.
- On occasions their feeding rate increases. This is known as the periods of enhanced mass accretion from their circumstellar disc.
- So far 25 such rare groups of stars have been discovered.