A star system (also known as stellar system) is a small number of stars which orbit each other, bound by gravitational attraction. There are many multiple-star systems, of which Triple Star System is one. Lately, some astronomers have said that they have discovered a unique Triple Star System which they believe may reveal the secrets of gravity.
Scientists used the National Science Foundation‘s Green Bank Telescope to discover this unique stellar system featuring a superdense neutron star and two white dwarfs stars, all packed within a space smaller than Earth‘s orbit around the Sun. They discovered a pulsar 4,200 light-years from Earth, spinning nearly 366 times per second.
Due to extreme closeness of the starts among them, scientists were able to make the most accurate measurements of the system’s complex gravitational interactions until now. Scientists discovered a violation of a concept called the Equivalence Principle which states that the effect of gravity on a body does not depend on the nature or internal structure of that body. According to scientists, the accurate measurements may resolve one of the principal outstanding problems of fundamental physics – the true nature of gravity.
Scott Ransom of the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, VA and one of the researchers of the finding said, “This triple system gives us a natural cosmic laboratory far better than anything found before for learning exactly how such three-body systems work and potentially for detecting problems with general relativity that physicists expect to see under extreme conditions … It provides us a tremendous opportunity to study the effects and nature of gravity … This is a fascinating system in many ways, including what must have been a completely crazy formation history, and we have much work to do to fully understand it.”
Researchers findings have been published in the journal Nature and it’ll be presented at the 223rd American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting which will be held from Jan 5 to Jan 9, in Washington DC. For more, hit the link below.