Heartbeat stars got their name because if you were to map out their brightness over time, the result looks like an electrocardiogram, a graph of the electrical activity of the heart.
Astronomers were surprised to see these data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in January 2013, showing a huge eruption of dust around a star called NGC 2547-ID8. In this plot, infrared brightness is represented on the vertical axis, and time on the horizontal axis.
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)
WISE is mapping the entire sky in infrared light, uncovering the coolest stars, the universe's most luminous galaxies and some of the darkest near-Earth asteroids and comets.
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