A very interesting report of a new science paper has appeared in the New Scientist:
‘William Ditto and his colleagues at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, compared the two strongest oscillations, or tones, made by the variable star KIC 5520878, using observations by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. They noticed that dividing the frequency of the secondary note by that of the primary, or lowest, note gives a value near the “golden ratio” – a number that shows up often in art and nature and is close to 1.618′
So is it real or did they perhaps just imagine it?
Let’s start with the abstract :
‘The unprecedented light curves of the Kepler space telescope document how the brightness of some stars pulsates at primary and secondary frequencies whose ratios are near the golden mean, the most irrational number.’
(continued) ‘A nonlinear dynamical system driven by an irrational ratio of frequencies generically exhibits a strange but nonchaotic attractor. For Kepler’s “golden” stars, we present evidence of the first observation of strange nonchaotic dynamics in nature outside the laboratory. This discovery could aid the classification and detailed modeling of variable stars.’
From the science paper itself:
‘We expanded this analysis to five other multi-frequency variable stars in Kepler’s field of view. The three additional golden RRc Lyrae stars KIC 4064484, KIC 8832417 and KIC 9453114, whose frequency ratios well approximate the golden mean, all exhibit signatures of strange nonchaotic dynamics, and their spectral scalings nearly collapse onto each other when the axes are proportionally scaled’
Another quote: ‘In contrast, two non-golden RRab Lyrae stars KIC 4484128 and KIC 7505345, whose frequency ratios well approximate the simple fraction 3/2, exhibit qualitatively different dynamics’
3:2 ratio = Fibonacci first order resonance like Neptune:Pluto
All this looks exactly along the lines we’ve been putting forward for the last two years here at the Talkshop.
The paper concludes:
‘Strange nonchaotic attractors have been observed in laboratory experiments involving magneto-elastic ribbons, electrochemical cells, electronic circuits, and a neon glow discharge, but never before in non-experiments in nature.
The pulsating star KIC 5520878 may be the first strange nonchaotic dynamical system observed in the wild.’
More about the Kepler Space Telescope here
Also reported here