A mysterious infant star, swaddled inside a dusty blanket, behaves like a police strobe light. The newly discovered object offers clues into the early stages of star formation, when a lot of gas and dust is being rapidly sucked into a newly forming binary star. Every 25.34 days, the object, designated LRLL 54361, unleashes a burst of light. The flashes may be due to material suddenly being dumped onto the growing protostars, unleashing a blast of radiation each time the stars get close to each other in their orbits. The phenomenon has been seen in later stages of star birth, but never in such a young system, nor with such intensity and regularity.
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Video Sequence Shows Strobe-like Flashes Discovered in a Suspected Binary Protostar (Annotated) Running Time: 10 seconds