Julia’s Star

Julia’s Star is an unknown object in the binary star system of Spica, in the constellation of Virgo. Its nature is still unclear, but there is a consensus that it exists in a Lagrange Point between the Primary and Secondary stars of the system. The object is popular known as Julia’s Star due to the amateur astronomer that discovered it, despite no clear evidence as to it being a star.

Naming History

During the 2020 supernova event in the Pegasus constellation, a Polish amateur astronomer named Julia decided to point out her telescope in the opposite direction[1], and set sight on Virgo. She noticed an increase of brightness on Spica, and was the first observer to report it to the Transient Name Server of the IAU. Several observatories detected the object as well, but weren’t unable to determine its nature, which garnered media attention, granting popularity to the Polish amateur astronomer. Because of that, the name “Julia’s Star” became popularized.

However, the International Astronomical Union refers officially to the object as Vir 97.

Observation

Julia’s Star is part of the Spica system, which is 2.06 degrees from the ecliptic. Given the proximity of the primary and secondary stars of the system, distinguishing the different objects is very hard to achieve with a surface based telescope. Before July of 2020, no registries of the object were ever made.

Physical Properties

Despite its name, Julia’s Star doesn’t appear to be a star. The object does not seem to exert gravitational influence in the binary system of Spica, and despite them forming a rotating ellipsoidal variable, it maintains a perfectly circular shape. It has a radius of 5.60 ±0.53 R☉ which makes it partially eclipsed by the system every two days. It emits intense blue light, above class O in the Harvard spectral classification. However, during partial occultation, its chromaticity shifts to yellowish white, without any observable changes in its radii. The most puzzling property of the object, however, is that it’s totally invisible in the infrared spectrum, despite being visible in all other spectra.

Astronomical Hypotheses

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (October 2020)