On Friday, an international collaboration of astronomers while tracking vanishing and appearing celestial bodies has identified a curious occurrence of nine stars like objects that appeared and then vanished in a small region within half an hour in an old photographic plate.
Scientists from Sweden, Spain, the US, Ukraine, and India investigated an early form of photography where they used glass plates to capture images of the night sky from 12th of April 1950, exposed at Palomar Observatory in California, USA, and detected these transient stars which were not to be found in photographs later neither were traced since then.
Such kinds of simultaneous appearing and disappearing objects at the same time have been detected for the first time in the history of astronomy. No explanation was established that could be responsible for this cluster of fast changes in the sky.
Indian Scientist from Aryabhatta Research Institute Of Observational Sciences (ARIES) Nainital, Alok C. Gupta participated in the study. The study led by Beatriz Villarroel of Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics, Stockholm, Sweden, and Spain’s Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias had used a 10.4m optical telescope to deep second epoch observations.
The team hoped to find a counterpart at the position of every object that appeared and disappeared simultaneously on the plate.
The exploration for what has caused the transient star’s appearance and disappearance is ongoing while the scientists confirmed that the images contain star-like objects which should not be there. Further, they are eager to look for more signatures of solar reflections in these 1950s digitized data, in the hope to find aliens.