TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A University of Toledo student has done the unexpected; he discovered a new star 162 light years away.
It is incredibly rare to make a discovery like this, but through hours in at the UT observatory, looking in the night sky, one little detail among many clues tipped them off.
"We had observed the star for 15 years and no one had looked at the data at all," said Dr. Noel Richardson, who supervised the student's research who made the discovery. "And we found just this tiny shift of the lines going back and forth."
Nick Dulaney, a junior studying physics at UT, looked close enough at the data and the stars, through a one meter telescope to find a second star.
"When I say I discovered a star, most people are like blown away by it. But to me it's kind of normal," Dulaney said. "This is what I go to work for. This is my job and this is what I do."
Part of his job is studying a fast rotating star with a disc of gas around it.
The star is consider binary in that it has a smaller star orbiting it.
"Essentially, I was tracking the way that star and the disc moves because it was interacting gravitationally with the star that I discovered<" Dulaney said. "So knowing that it must be moving due to gravity. We know that there must be something else there."
That something else was another star.
"We were like, 'Okay, there's actually something here and this is awesome," Dulaney said. "And I couldn't have been happier to have done something like that."
His research is now published, which remarkable for an undergrad.. Knowing that scientists around the world will use his research only excites Dulaney more.
Dulaney said, "It helps us understand the evolution of the stars and these discs and the mass loss process and there's a lot of general knowledge that can be drawn from this."