Observing the field of globular cluster Palomar 2 with the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), astronomers have discovered 32 new variable stars.
The newfound variables are mostly RR Lyrae stars and cluster members.
Variable stars could offer important hints into aspects of stellar structure and evolution.
They could also help us better understand the distance scale of the universe.
In particular, the so-called RR Lyrae (RRL) variables are a powerful tool for studying the morphology, metallicity, and age of galaxies.
In general, RRLs are pulsating horizontal branch stars of spectral class A or F, with a mass of around half the sun's.
The discovery is a result of long-term observations of the field of Palomar 2 with IAO's 2.0-m telescope.
Palomar 2 is a distant globular cluster located some 100,000 light years in the constellation of Auriga and so far no variables have been reported in this stellar grouping.
All in all, Team detected 32 variables. IAO allowed them to discover 20 RR Lyrae variables of RRab type and one of RRc type.
Analyzing the data from ESA's Gaia satellite they identified 10 more variables and one red-giant branch (RGB) star. Six out of these 10 variable stars were confirmed to be of RRab type.
According to the research, the average period of the member RRab stars of Palomar 2 turns out to be about 0.55 days.
This indicates that Palomar 2 should be classified as an Oosterhoff type I (Oo I) cluster.