This process occurs approximately every 19 days, but the duration and the intensity of the brightness fades varies greatly.
The team believes that the culprit is not the asteroid or planet as such, but the dust clouds emitted sporadically by said object.
What catches the attention of astronomers is the colossal size of dust clouds, much larger than would be expected from an object as small as the one orbiting TIC 400799224, indicates RT.
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“The nature of the body itself in orbit is puzzling because the amount of dust emitted is large; if it were produced by the disintegration of an object like the asteroid Ceres in our solar system, it would only survive about 8,000 years before disappearing “, points out a press release issued by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, an institution to which astronomer Karen Collins, one of the study’s authors, belongs.
“However, surprisingly, during the six years that this object has been observed, the periodicity has remained strict and the object that emits the dust has apparently remained intact,” adds the text.
It is a mystery that, for now, lacks an answer, but the researchers plan to continue monitoring the object and incorporate historical observations from that area of space to try to determine how the brightness has varied over the decades.