October 23, 2021

Weird shape-shifting clouds of dust seem to be orbiting a distant star

Stars imaged by the DECam Plane Survey TIC 400799224 is identified in the crosshairs.

The TIC 400799224 star system, which has light being blocked by something odd

DECaPS; Schlafly et al. 2018

Around a star about 2300 light years away, something strange is happening. An object is circling the star and blocking out its light, but the object’s size and shape appear to be constantly changing and astronomers do not know what it is.

Brian Powell at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and his colleagues spotted a strange pattern in the light from a star system called TIC 400799224 using the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. They found that about …