Mysterious cold blobs may be hiding inside a distant star

A small star called AU Microscopii seems to contain strange pockets of hydrogen thousand of degrees colder than the rest of the star, and astronomers aren’t sure why


10 June 2022

Artist’s impression of a hypothetical planet and moon orbiting the red dwarf star AU Microscopii

NASA Image Collection/Alamy

The distant star AU Microscopii may have mysterious cold spots. It seems to contain pockets of hydrogen that are more than 1500°C colder than the surrounding areas, and astronomers aren’t sure why.

AU Microscopii, or AU Mic, is a relatively small star about 32 light years away. Laura Flagg at Cornell University was testing an algorithm using data on AU Mic taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998 when she noticed something …

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