Mystery of Changing Star Brightness Deepens

Unusual fluctuations in the brightness of older sun-like stars have long mystified astronomers, and new, detailed observations of the phenomenon have only deepened the mystery.
The new data, taken with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, contradict all of the explanations that astronomers have previously put forward to account for years-long variations seen in the brightness of one-third of sun-like stars that are in the later stages of their lives.
"We have obtained the most comprehensive set of observations to date for this class of sun-like stars, and they clearly show that all the possible explanations for their unusual behavior just fail," said study team member Christine Nicholls of Mount Stromlo Observatory, Australia.

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